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!

DIY Creation Station: Espresso Body Scrub + Replenishing Face Serum + Balancing Spray

By | Barefoot Parenting, Eat Clean + Recipes, Free Downloads, Healthy Mindset, News, Recipes, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

What you put on your body goes inside of your body. And what you put inside of your body becomes your body. So I figure one of the best gifts I can give those I love, are things that help them become a body of wonder. Yes, you deserve to be a Natural Wonder. Mom’s are definitely Natural Wonders. They’re like their own category of Super Hero. We shall call them Wonder Mama’s. Now let us flourish our Wonder Mama’s with natural gifts from the earth so they can be Natural Wonder Mama’s. All while cultivating your own creativity!

While I’m totally not a fan of holidays that appear to be popularized by Hallmark and candy companies (ahem, Valentine’s Day. Do I really need a holiday to tell my husband I love him? I love you, Matt. See? It’s May 12th, and I did just fine without the flowers and candy. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now.), I’m all for celebrating amazing people in your life. So I’d like to proclaim everyday Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (can’t leave the gents out!). And while we’re at it, let’s make everyday Valentine’s Day! So even if you don’t make these goodies for your Wonder Mama, just know that you can make this for any Natural Wonder in your life. Including yourself! 

Click here to go to my live class on Facebook, “DIY Creation Station”.

Do you want to take more online classes with me? Let’s do it! I will be posting my classes publicly on Facebook and we will also be sharing them via AYT lifestyle’s page.

Below is the ingredient list for each item we created. I share the recipe, how-to’s and essential oil tidbits in the class. Remember, the quality of your essential oil matters. I’m using Young Living and really appreciate their quality (you know I love researching and getting down to the nitty gritty on how products are made and sourced!). I liked them so much I became a distributer for them! So if you want to learn the 101 on essential oils and get your party started, reach out, I can help guide you. Email me at aytlifestyle@gmail.com.


Invigorating Espresso Body Scrub
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • Container: 2 x 4 oz glass jars*
Balancing Essential Oil Spray
  • 3-6 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3-6 drops Tangerine essential oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • filtered water
  • Container: 2oz spray bottle (dark glass)*
Replenishing Face Serum Roller
  • 3 drops Purification essential oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • Organic Hemp oil
  • Container: 10ml roller (dark glass)*

* We purchased these spray bottles and rollers on Amazon. The 4oz glass jars are often available at your local Target, Ace Hardware, Walmart, etc.

mark your calendar…

Next online class:

Creating a Peppy Protein Plant-based Bowl

 

Self Care & Motherhood: My practices for finding balance as a new mom

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

Self care and motherhood. Is this an oxymoron or do they go together like two peas in a pod? I’m 3+ months into motherhood and I’m voting the latter. But how and why should I take care of myself when I have a newborn? Isn’t Kovy the priority? Well, yes. But this is where it gets tricky. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Either way, you need them both.

The HOW: To me, I’ve learned to be multi-functional with my time. That doesn’t mean multi-tasking. That wears the poop out of me (even though there never seems to be a shortage of poop with a baby). I can actually feel my head getting fuzzy when I try to do too many things at once. By multi-functional, I mean creating an opportunity that can serve many purposes. An easy example might be our changing station. Matt and I change Kovy on the floor, which means we have to get up and down from the floor. Watch this video to see how we set it up. While he’s laying on his back or tummy, I have the opportunity to lay down too. Do I need a restorative pose as I lay next to Kovy? Or should I wake up my body by rolling around like him? What do I feel like stretching or moving?

The WHY: If I’m not taking care of myself, what is that teaching Kovy? How does that influence him? If my hormones and stress levels are totally out of whack, how does that affect my breastmilk quality and production? And if I’m not taking care of my physical health, I can more easily injure myself when carrying him or picking him up.

I think this goes for any human being of any age. If you proactively invest in your holistic health, you’ll reap the benefits down the line. You’ll pay much less in the future in money, energy and time.

Here are just a few of the ways I like to practice self care while balancing motherhood and my work with AYT lifestyle. You might notice a theme throughout, much of my self care is blended with my AYT lifestyle work. That’s not a coincidence folks…

  • I ALWAYS eat breakfast. Whether Kovy is in my arms, still upstairs with Matt or laying on a yoga mat nearby, I prep our morning smoothie or other invigorating concoction. If you need some inspiration, download our Wee and Free Recipe eGuide or search my blog for smoothie recipes.
  • I practice SELF-COMPASSION. And I say practice, as it’s sometimes a challenge for me. But boy, I enjoy my day so much more when I’m kind to myself. I’ve accepted that even though I might be a perfectionist, that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect.
  • CREATIVE EXPRESSION. This is why I’m writing this blog while Kovy spits up on my shoulder. Man, I’m always misplacing those burping cloths. Writing fuels my soul, whether it be journaling, blogging or doodling in my notebook.

  • While Kovy chills on his play area with homemade hanging doodads, I sit next to him at the tatami table (a low rise Japanese table) MAKING JEWELRY. What started as a fun hobby in 7th grade with my best friend Rachel Roellke, hand making gemstone jewelry has grown into a passion and business for me. Putting happy energy into natural gemstones that already resonate with their own energy properties is such a balancing experience for me. How balancing? It satiated my creative spirit and balance me during my strict and structured time training for the Olympics. And those were some tough days where I was in need of a LOT of balance. Have you seen my most recent handmade pieces on this website? These blend my love for natural gemstones and healthy living.  
  • I find NATURE. I keep getting this quote on the tag of my Yogi Tea (what a clever idea, by the way) that says something along the lines of if you truly love nature, you will find it everywhere. And it’s true. I may be in a suburban neighborhood, but we go on daily walks and search out the hummingbirds, plants, shading trees, blooming flowers and rocks to step on. Here’s how I go off roading in our suburban neighborhood. There’s something about being outside that soothes both me and Kovy. We chill out. I guess you could say we find our zen. I definitely think we’re meant to be outdoors more, surrounded by earthy things. Not just Kovy and I, but all of us.
  • I KEEP EATING food throughout the day. Yes, it takes preparation when going out and about. Yet it’s totally worth it to me. And for Kovy, since what I’m putting in my body is going into his body. By prepping and making my own food for the day, I know what I’m putting in my body and don’t get stuck either with nothing to eat (eek!) or having to get something that’s super expensive or totally lame (aka not good for my body). I post many of my recipes on this blog (ahh, serving my creative expression while eating good food. 2 in 1 fun!)

Well, I’m going to practice self care and finish my blog so I have time to prep my food before we all head out for the day. I have to stop myself when writing, as I’ve been known to go on a tangent or two (say, what?). Let’s be honest, there’s countless ways to practice self care as a mother or any human being. How do YOU like to practice self care?

Okay, I’ll add one more. I MOVE MY BODY. Instead of doing a full 30-60 minute yoga or other fitness session, I break up my movement throughout the day. Did I say this is actually BETTER for your heath and body? Yep, it’s true friends. Anyhoo, one of the ways I get my moving in (and practice self care) is while changing his diaper or during his floor time. I move with him! I try not to poop with him though. Ha. This is why I started filming Diaper Sessions, mini workshop-like sessions for me, you and anyone who’d like to move well and mindfully! I’ll leave you here with Diaper Sessions #3: “Tummy Time” to awaken your core and back extensors:

Hey, these images look pretty gosh darned similar! What do ya know, Joe!

 

 

Don’t start your day on the right foot. Start it on two Balanced Feet.

By | Barefoot Parenting, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

What do your feet have to do with your whole body health? Are they that important? Can’t I just wear orthotics or cushy shoes and call it a day? Aren’t my toes supposed to be smushed together in the shape of my favorite shoe?

Why am I so enamored with feet these days? Uhh, why wouldn’t I be!

(Body nerd alert! Body nerd alert! Come on, you know you’re one too, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!)

Let’s start with baby feet. We all started with baby feet, after all.

I am in the middle of my 2 year biomechanics-based certification as a Restorative Exercise Specialist with Nutritious Movement. What is Nutritious Movement? It’s a “whole-body movement program that utilizes exercises, alignment adjustments, and habitat (lifestyle) changes to better move all trillion of your body’s parts.” Or as I like to phrase it, (re)discover how to use and move your body while adjusting the lifestyle habits that got you in this pickle. Or something along those lines. I began nerding out on feet several years ago when I was introduced to the Nutritious Movement blog of Biomechanist, Katy Bowman. She’s the creator of this program and best-seller author of many o’ books, including Whole Body Barefoot and Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief. As you read through her blog posts, listen to her podcasts, take an online movement class or read one of her many books, you’ll begin to notice a trend. If the focus is on one area, say “foot pain relief”, she’ll spend much of the time on other areas of the body. Say, the calves, hamstrings, standing alignment and posture. Say what? Why?

Let’s compare your body to a ball of yarn. If you pull on a string, it will tug down the line and you’ll notice the ball changing shape somewhere else. You tug on another string and the ball changes shape in another unforeseen spot. You can’t really see where it’s connected, but you know it is. This reminds me of how your body works because you’re made up of trillions of cells. And all the cells touch other cells. Together, these cells create tissues, which form into things like organs, muscles and all the stuff in between (including fascia). It’s all connected.

With that said, let’s give your hamstrings some love…

So how you treat your feet will influence the happiness of your knees, pelvic floor, back and so on. So cool!

I do not know how everything is connected (where do all those strings in that ball of yarn attach?), but I do know that everything is connected. I think this “everything is connected” approach gives you a sense of empowerment over your health. It certainly does for me. It creates a broader perspective for you to apply when dealing with any health issues.

When I had plantar fasciitis, I learned that this was the symptom (where I was experiencing pain) caused by a bigger issue. My right gluteus muscle was no longer firing properly. Meaning, it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing. So every time I walked, stood, sat, squatted, sat on the toilet, ran or anything else where my gluteus muscle should be playing a role, it wasn’t. And the rest of my body had to take the slack for that. Important to note: I went to  professionals who also approach health from a whole body perspective. Always do your vetting. Don’t know anyone? Ask around. I saw Dr. MaryAnne Harrington and Dr. Stephanie Tyson. Two very different styles yet both approach an issue with your whole body health in mind (they focus on the cause of the issue, not just the symptom, yay!).

Even though you need to address how you use your entire body when it comes to your foot health, you still need to address your feet! Try this one on for size…

Are you ready for more whole body awesomeness?

 

Get on the waitlist for my upcoming eCourse,

Center your SELF.

You’ll be the first to know when more details unfold. 

The Diaper Sessions: free yoga-ish movement classes

By | Barefoot Parenting, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Welcome to Diaper Sessions!  These short movement classes infuse yoga therapy, body alignment, restorative annnnnd dynamic movements, all aimed to help you find balance in your body (and hopefully lifestyle). I find these help me, so I hope they can do the same for you, my friend.

I recently spoke with a lovely gal who has 4 month old twins, along with 3 other kids (she was with her husband and their new twins on a date night at the Ecology Center’s Lay of the Land event. Clearly, they’re rockstars). We got to talking about fitness classes, recovering postpartum, and that feeling of finally wanting to move more (and knowing that your body is ready for it). She said her body was finally able to unravel itself, so she could focus on releasing the physical tension and tightness that comes with holding babies, breastfeeding, repetitive movement, childbirth, etc. I think that’s a great way to describe what your body goes through postpartum. An unraveling period that takes place after you’ve gotten in the swing of things and ready to move more. Or as I like to call it, desticking the sticky spots or defunking the gunk.

So here we go…Diaper Sessions!

These sessions are called Diaper Sessions because, go figure, I film them during Kovy’s diaper change. We made our changing station on the floor, which makes it super easy for us to move around while changing him. There’s other benefits too, including these (plus why we’re transitioning our lifestyle to moving more throughout the day – creating big change!). If you feel like a diaper changing station on the floor is too much on your body, try out this savvy (and vital) way of moving to help prep your body for more floor time and help strengthen your back, core, glutes, eyeballs, eyebrows. Ha! But seriously. Your body is all connected. So in some capacity, your eyeballs and eyebrows are influenced by how you move.

You don’t need a floor changing station to do these classes, let alone a baby. All you need is some floor space and an eagerness to move your body and stimulate your awareness!

If you want to stay up to date with Diaper Sessions, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get notifications of new videos. Have you looked at our channel? We’ve got all sorts of shenanigans on there, from nutrition to travel to eco-ideas to lifestyle tips. Yay!

#1: You want to stretch out your body. It feels tight. Your baby is sleeping (who knows for how long). You know you feel better after you move around a bit. Your mid back is especially achy from how you’ve been standing, walking, carrying things (read: baby), looking at your phone and sitting in bucket seats. What can you do? Well, this is what I do when My body needs some love…a short therapeutic yoga session focusing on releasing mid-back tension…

#2: In this session I share 3 mindfully magnificent movements, focusing on unsticking your sticky spots, particularly in your mid back and shoulders. Yum!

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

 

 

Why & How to Make a Diaper Changing Station on the Floor

By | Barefoot Parenting, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions

I’ve been transitioning my lifestyle into one where I’m moving more often throughout the day. Why? In a nutshell, it improves my health right down to the cellular level. And believe it or not, moving throughout the day is more beneficial than compressing my workout into selective sessions (as I used to). Why? Because you adapt to the position you’re most often in. And when I was teaching / taking my varied fitness classes, I hadn’t brought this other varied movement into the rest of my day. Because I was tired. And I thought these workouts were enough. In other words, fitness classes aren’t bad at all. I find them quite fun. It’s just that it’s not enough if you really want happy cells (which equals a happy body) (which correlates with a happy head).

With all this mumbo jumbo said, the type of movement you’re doing is super important, as well. Doing the same activity or workout everyday plateaus your metabolism. You adapt. And on top of that, we get so much less movement in our life with our modern conveniences (read: any person, place or thing that makes your day easier. e.g. driving instead of walking, smooth sidewalks instead of rough terrain, grocery stores instead of growing your own food, etc.). Personally, I’m crazy grateful for our fantabulous conveniences. I’ve been able to visit countries on the other side of the world thanks to technology and airplanes. I have time to write this blog because I can walk up to the grocery store instead of tending to crops for all my food. You get the picture. We’re all very lucky to have the time and conveniences that we have! I sure hope people don’t take them for granted. That wouldn’t be cool.

Here’s a few of the transitions we’ve made in the Komer Posse: We’re not using a stroller so we’re carrying Kovy either in our arms or in a baby wrap. I often opt to walk to the grocery store instead of driving, even if it means it takes longer. This also gives me the opportunity to work my upper arms as I carry the groceries home. In our previous home, we got rid of our couch entirely and used pillows to pop a squat on the floor. It’s amazing how much of a change this brings to your body in how you feel and even, yes, how you look and carry yourself. As we currently live at Matt’s parents’ home, we don’t think they’d appreciate us chucking their couches to the curb (ya think!?). So we do our best to:

1) Minimize chair / couch sitting.

2) Create alternative spaces to hang out and play on the floor.

3) If we do sit on the couch, we change our position often. And get up often to do things (or let’s be honest…to get more food.)


This brings us to a new way we’ve been moving throughout the day…Diaper changing! Say what? How does diaper changing get you to move more? Ahh, well, this is where you can get super clever pants McGee, whip out your minimalist skills and nourish your trillions of cells! Changing Kovy on the floor has been so much fun. I can’t believe I just said that. Changing diapers are fun? Well, in this case, they are. Not when you’re cramped in the back of a Prius trying to balance a ginormous baby on your lap as he releases a wrath of fresh poop. Thank goodness for water (and poop) proof material. I know it’s not organic, but I’m still grateful for it.

Enough poop talk. It’s naked time. That’s right. Naked time. Here’s why & how we chose to create a diaper changing station on the floor…

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

Say Adios to Routine & Repetition: Sneaky ways to stimulate your life, brain & body

By | Barefoot Parenting, Daily Gumption, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions
“If you think Adventure is dangerous. Try Routine. It’s lethal.” 

I may not have written this quote, but I sure feel like it was written for me, a gal who comes alive with new experiences, traveling, creating and exploring. So what happens when your daily “adventure” is now packed full of repetitive, or somewhat routine, experiences? Read: changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, making meals, shopping for food, doing the dishes, feeding the dog. Eeeeeeeek! Sound the alarm! Call out the guards! Run for the hills! I’m yawning and freaking out at the same time. I’m a learner, a curious kid, an explorer, and adventurer. How am I supposed to awaken my senses and embrace my zest for life during these non-stimulating tasks? 

IS YOUR ROUTINE FOR A GOOD CAUSE? Hold up. Rewind. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. When I’m speaking about routine, I am solely addressing the tasks, chores and repetitive duties we take on. I am not addressing the purpose of the duty or whether they’re worth doing in the first place. You and I wouldn’t be doing these repetitive duties if we didn’t deem them worth our time. Of course they are! (I like saying duties, can you tell? But you have to say it like, doooodies. Ya know, like poop.) Please don’t mistake this blog as a means to complain about doing duties. That would be silly. And energy sucking. You know, like energy vampires. Those people who are always complaining and sucking the energy out of you. I say no thank you to their drama-rama.

THINK LIKE AN INVENTOR + PROBLEM SOLVER + CURIOUS KID. Being and inventor, problem solver and curious kid, you should probably have a cool detective-like name. I’ll be Himay Ponderosa. Got yours? Good. Now let’s get out a pen and paper. Write down any repetitive duty you do throughout the day in which you’d like to add a little zest, pizazz, stimulation or learning experience. You get the picture. Here’s my list:

  • breastfeeding
  • Preparing our meals (we spend a lot of time in the kitchen!)
  • changing diapers

Now being Himay Ponderosa, I’ve come up with opportunities to liven up these duties. Using these videos as a take off point, write out ways you can liven up your own daily tasks. If your hands are busy during a task, watch the first two videos. During your daily duty, if you’re looking at something and have to actually focus on thinking about it (like writing this blog), check out the third and final video.

Housebound? That’s exactly what these videos are geared towards. In-house time. There’s heaps of great ways we can stimulate our life, brain & body outside of the house. And often times we can take our daily tasks outside, which provides a refreshing change in itself.

And if all this talk of inspiring yourself, livening up your day, and adding good quality zest to your life, gets you all, well, inspired, awakened and zesty, then sign up on the waitlist for my upcoming eCourse, Center Your SELF. It’s right up your alley.

Stimulation Station

BREASTFEEDING & PREPARING MEALS…Is this a hidden opportunity to inspire yourself, learn more about the things you love and continue exploring your passion? Heck-eee-doodle-eee-doo-doo! (That means Yes) It takes initiative on your part and it’s totally worth it. Here’s how I stimulate my brain, even during things like breastfeeding or preparing meals…

CHANGING DIAPERSCan you make changing diapers fun? Can you do it in a way to benefit your own body? How about your brain? Is it actually possible to make it stimulating for both you and your wee bebe? We think so! This is how we roll…literally.

BONUS DUTY. SINCE WE ALL STAND SOMEWHEREDo any of your duties allow you to be standing? Say, working at a standing desk, writing emails at the kitchen counter, preparing dinner. Here’s a little something you can do to stimulate & awaken your body (from the feet up)…

“Don’t do chemicals, kids” • Our minimalist, natural and DIY approach to a baby’s room and household cleaners

By | Barefoot Parenting, Eat Clean + Recipes, Healthy Mindset, News, Recipes, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions

This is what happens when you inhale chemicals, kids. Ha, just kidding. But seriously. Maybe this picture expresses how we feel on the inside when we ingest or inhale toxic substances. Hmm…

How much money do you think goes into the anti-drug campaigns? I’m guessing millions. Will there ever be an anti-chemical and anti-sugar campaign? Regarding chemicals, it’s possible we come into contact with products each day that contain carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer). Think: cleaners, paints, beauty products, even foods. As for sugar, it’s said to be more addicting than cocaine and is linked with a multitude of diseases and illnesses. Sadly, I doubt the big companies that make and sell said products and also happen to sway much of U.S. policy would approve of such a campaign (or the politicians who are backed by them). But there’s no need to fret, change starts with the individual. You and me.

Besides…Despite the serious impact of chemicals found in our household products and the refined sugars in our foods, I’d prefer we all opt for a proactive approach to making positive changes in our lifestyle as opposed to me just telling you “don’t do chemicals, kids”. Doesn’t that ever even work? If you tell me not to do something…I might consider that a challenge and go do it! (my mom and dad will attest to that) Let’s focus on adding positive, clean products and practices into our day. Ahhh, so where do we start? Well, this is where we started…

I hope these videos help conjure up creative ways for you to organically infuse natural products and practices into your life! Below you’ll find “A minimalist and natural approach to a baby’s room” and “Skip the chemicals: Natural household cleaning products, DIY options and resources.” You can find more eco-happy videos on our YouTube channel, including “Don’t Stink: Products we use to be fragrant-free and chemical-free (save the baby’s skin!)” and “Eco-Happy Tips & Ideas when Painting“.

 

 

Hungry for more healthy and au natural lifestyle practices? 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, AYT lifestyle.

Call me Dense, Nutrient Dense: Two Crunchy Dense Cracker Recipes

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

Matrix flashback: Do you remember in the Matrix trilogy the mushy oatmeal-like goo that Keanu Reeves’ character eats in the real world after waking up from being in the matrix? It has all the amino acids and nutrients your body needs. But it’s tasteless and mushy. Being a craver of crunchy things, I wonder if you could pop it in the oven or dehydrator and make some nice crispy crackers out of them. So instead of mushy oatmeal, you have something more along the lines of lamas bread, like in Lord of the Rings. Did you know a bite of lamas bread can feed a grown man for an entire day? If you didn’t know, it’s time you watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy again. It’s also time Matt and I go back to New Zealand, where the movies were filmed. We need to introduce Kovy to the epic Kiwi culture. And set up our Lifestyle Guiding (work)shop.

Okay, now that I’ve come back from my tangent of ideas and movie moments (yet still listening to music from Rudy), let’s talk crackers! It can be a challenge to find crackers that are:

  1. Budget-friendly
  2. Organic
  3. Gluten-free
  4. Corn-free
  5. Plant-based

The closest thing I’ve found that ticks all the boxes are Mary’s Gone Crackers (if they’re on sale or when they’re available at Costco). So of course I took it upon myself to make our own crackers! These two recipes are super simple, here’s what you need:

  • Oven (I would use a dehydrator if I had one, to keep more of the nutrients in these nutrient dense crackers!)
  • Food processor
  • Baking sheet
  • Recycled parchment paper

Okay, so let’s get crunching! I LOVE using these crackers as an open faced sandwich of sorts. Here are a few of my go-to options:

  • Cracker + avocado + fermented beets (as shown in image)
  • Cracker + avocado + kale + fried egg
  • Cracker + hummus + sliced cucumber
  • Cracker + nut butter + sliced apple 

CRUNCHY DENSE CRACKER RECIPE #1:

All Seeds All Day

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup flaxseeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • sea salt and garlic pepper to taste
  • filtered water as needed (to create malleable consistency)

CRUNCHY DENSE CRACKER RECIPE #2:

Seedy Beans

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and garlic pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • filtered water as needed

CONCOCT ME:

  • Using a food processor, blend all ingredients together until mostly smooth, adding sea salt to taste.
  • Add filtered water slowly to create a consistency that sticks together. (If you accidentally put too much water in and it turns to mush, just add more seeds)
  • Using a baking sheet with recycled parchment paper, flatten out your concoction. How thick? It’s your call. I like it between say, 2mm – 4mm (not that I measure!)
  • Bake at 300 F degrees for 40-60 minutes (the time depends on the thickness of your cracker)
  • Take out of oven. Carefully flip entire piece to let cool. Once cooled, break into sizes of your choice.
  • Store in a dry BPA-free container (opt for glass if possible).

MAKE IT EXTRA TASTY & USER-FRIENDLY TIPS:

  • The dough is sticky! Use water on your hands or roller to flatten out onto the parchment paper.
  • To ensure your concoction cooks evenly, rollout the dough evenly. If the center is too thick, it will stay softer.
  • The thicker your cracker, the denser it will be. So if you like thin crispy crackers, roll the dough out more.
  • I added a decent amount of sea salt and garlic pepper to really get a flavorful cracker. Get creative with adding other spices!

Let me know how your creations turned out…

Share in the comment section below!

 

Get Creative with your Approach to Exercise: Videos to spice up your day (life)

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

I love doing chores. Sign me up to pull weeds from the garden, move your furniture, rearrange a room, clean the floors or build a raised garden bed. Is it weird that I love this stuff? Case in point…The other morning, I hopped on a conference call. Instead of sitting or standing during this 45 minute discussion. I skated through the house, cleaning the floor with wet rags under my shoes. It was seriously invigorating and let’s be honest, quite productive. This skating action is new to my body as I don’t skate very often (or at all), so it was challenging in this sense. But it was also repetitive enough that I could concentrate on my phone call.

Movement is stimulating.
Repetitive movement adds a sprinkle of meditative focus to the mix.

When it comes to doing chores and manual labor, it’s not just that feeling of satisfaction of knowing I completed a project that I enjoy…it’s the physical movement. My body craves movement. Unpredictable, fluid, random, varied movement. I feel my best when I do different things. Hmm, this might explain why playing water polo felt so physically satisfying for me. Not relying on padded shoes, clothing or any apparatus, I could use solely my body to move in the unpredictable and varied ways the sport demands. Somehow, moving through the water felt so natural. I do like to pretend I’m swimming like a dolphin, after all.

Au Natural Side Note: Granted, any sport isn’t “natural” if you’re speaking from an evolutionary standpoint of the human body and the environment it was designed in (think: hunter gatherer environment). So I’m using the word “natural” in a slightly different context.

Extra Au Natural Side Note: You know what would be REALLY natural and awesome for your body? Actually moving naturally. I really do think that’s what the human body craves. Not working out at the gym. Not going to spin class. Not cleaning the floors while on a conference call. But real, forage for your food, chase down prey with your endurance running skills, squat by the fire, squat to poo, you get the picture. Since you and I aren’t quite ready for that phase of our life yet, let’s focus on working with what we’ve got. A handy resource to “reclaim your nature” check out MovNat, Natural Movement: fitness for the real world. I have yet to partake in one of their workshops or retreats, but they look amazing and I love their approach.

By the way, you can squat and poo in your home. Here’s how. And why.

In the featured image above, Matt and I harvested barley for a family in Northern Italy, which they use to make their homemade bread. Yummmm. We were volunteering on an organic farm while WWOOFing. It’s an incredible way to immerse yourself in the local community, learn about organic farming, connect with others and of course get a solid helping of varied physical movement in. Some may call this manual labor or doing chores. I call it an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of another. It was so rewarding to sit back with the family, soak up the view and company, while snacking on local bread, cheeses and meats after such an active and productive morning along this hillside. (Not familiar with WWOOFing? It’s where you can volunteer on organic farms in exchange for room and board. Each country has their own organization, including USA.)

Do you want to introduce deliciously fluid, random and varied movements into your day but not sure where to start? Well, you can always do those projects I mentioned above. But if cleaning the floor or building a raised garden bed don’t tickle your fancy, here are a few ideas to get your brain brewing and body moving differently. Enjoy, my fellow movers and shakers!

 

 

 

A Life Lesson on Compassion: When to clean up your sh** (and the sh** of others)

By | Barefoot Parenting, Healthy Mindset, News, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Do you ever feel like your life is a ridiculous comedy? You know, those too-funny-to-be-a-coincidence moments, where all you can think is Seriously? I can’t help but laugh at this experience otherwise I’d totally break down. This is exactly what happened when I had a life lesson on cleaning up my own sh**. Literally. Wait, why would I do that? And yes, I am using this as a metaphor…but also literally. Ew.

SHOW COMPASSION. CLEAN UP AFTER OTHERS’ POOP.

Kovy is 4 weeks old and his digestive system is at its optimum. Translation: we are changing a lot of diapers. There is a lot of poo.

It takes a lot of energy to deal with your shiznit.

We also have an elderly doggy (Sir Maximus!) in the house who is having issues with his bowel control. Translation: There is a lot of poo.

Hi, I’m Sir Maximus.

Thankfully for our wee little man and this gentle giant of a dog, we’re here to pick up after them.

To me, these situations reminds me of showing compassion to others who are in need. Think about it, sometimes we’re not able to pick up after ourselves. We need help. We need support. We need a loving hand. And I’m talking beyond babies and old doggies. I mean when we’re going through a tough time and we need a shoulder to lean on.

Has there been a time when you needed a shoulder to lean on? Why? Who gave you a shoulder? What did you learn from it?

I admit, it’s not always easy for me to show compassion. I have this sense of independence ingrained in me with an unpractical dogma that we each can and should take care of ourselves. If you look at this on the lighter side, I feel we should and can be accountable for our actions. But sometimes this view takes a more dominating approach when I think someone is only willing to blame the world for their problems (and never look inward), which leaves little room for compassion. As Tom Hanks’ character so aptly states in A League of their Own, “there’s no crying in baseball!”. I agree. Well, I did…

“Are you crying?”

With the entire experience of bringing Kovy into the world (pregnancy, the birthing process, being a new mom), this has released a nurturing, sensitive and compassionate side I had been holding back (totally like Tom Hanks…remember how by the end he’s a total softy and connects so well with everyone because he finally opens up? And stops binge drinking, of course).

I think if you don’t live with compassion in your life, you shut yourself out from experiencing connection and community with others. And that sounds pretty lonely. I have felt that before and it’s no fun. It was my own doing. I isolated myself and didn’t put myself out there to connect with others. I didn’t want to be feel vulnerable. And I felt like I was so different from others, I didn’t understand how I could connect on the same wavelength. But it’s only when we’re vulnerable, that we can create connections and community with others. Plus, I finally realized it’s possible to be different from others yet still connect in other ways (we’re all different, duh! That’s what makes each of us unique!). Hmm, I think if every person in our country (and planet) showed a little more compassion, everyone would be a wee bit happier (and cooler).

You may be a lobster and I may be a pirate ship, but we can still show each other compassion.

SHOW COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF: CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR OWN POOP.

Ya…so back to I can’t help but laugh at this experience otherwise I’d totally break down…

THE NIGHT IT ALL CAME OUT.

After a full day of diaper patrol and doggy-duty (more like doody)…I took advantage of a free and peaceful toilet moment (aka: I had to poop. hey, we all do it. hopefully). I did my business. All was well. And then it happened. The toilet was clogged. The plunger didn’t work…it overflowed. And I mean it ALL overflowed. The last thing I expected after a long day was to be staring at this horrific chaos overflowing. Matt’s in the bedroom holding Kovy. Can I ask him to help? No. This isn’t his battle. This one’s mine. I got myself in this mess. I gotta get myself out.

Hmm, suddenly little baby poops don’t seem so bad.

IN JUST A MATTER OF UNFORTUNATE MOMENTS, I LEARNED SOME OVER FLOWINGLY SIGNIFICANT LIFE LESSONS:

  1. Sometimes shit in your life has to get worse before it gets better.

  2. You have to deal with you own shit. The drama, the issues, the source of it all. Other people can try, but when it comes down to it, you have to figure yourself out first.

  3. Show yourself compassion. You deserve it. 

  4. Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and a hilarious moment to blog about.

And there you have it folks. A real life lesson from poop. I kid you not, I was thinking – in the moment, while cleaning everything up – how this would make for a comical blog. Funny enough, Matt was in the other room thinking the same thing.

I am grateful that I am learning to show myself more compassion (I’m pretty tough on myself – could you guess?), as well as others. I think this is all we can ask of ourselves – to love ourselves as (truly) we are, and do the same for others.

Awww, such a sweet moral of the story from such a stinky experience. Now THAT’S the difference between an ordeal and a hilarious moment to blog about!


 

Where in your life can you show yourself more compassion?

Gluten-free MacaCoco Gingies for Adrenal Happiness

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

There are many things in life that stress me out. Clutter, poor energy flow, sugar and wheat (there are exceptions depending on the source!), feeling stuck indoors, a hectic schedule, running from a wild banshee. But let’s just focus on the sugar and wheat, we’ll tackle the wild banshee another day.

The foods you eat can create stress in your body. In fact, your body can’t really decipher the difference between one type of stress and another. And the more stress you experience, the tougher it is to recover on a daily basis and replenish your body at the cellular level. This means less energy, premature aging, a super vulnerable immune system (do you get sick often? Hmm, something to ponder), poor digestion, foggy head, increased pain. Oi oh vai! While this sounds slightly dramatic and depressing, there is something we can do about it! Change what we eat! Yep, it starts by what you put in your mouth. Your gut is like your second brain, after all. And it’s directly linked to your immune system. So the happier our gut is, the healthier and happier we are (there’s even links to gut health and depression The article I’ve linked to also references the beneficial bacteria received through vaginal births – fascinating stuff).

I’m on a mission to eat minimal sugar. Why? If the connection between your stress levels, gut health and immune system isn’t enough, here are a few other reasons:

  • I want to keep my blood sugar levels chill so in turn, Kovy’s blood sugar levels will be chill and he can sleep well (and not get used to this sugary substance and crave it as he transitions to solids. Wait, you don’t know who Kovy is? Read this.)
  • Our body does not need that much sugar to function. It will function much better with less. And there is way too much readily available for us in our modern culture.
  • Sugar is ridiculously addictive and messes with your taste buds.
  • When you’re eating foods with sugar, that probably means you’re eating less of other nutrient dense foods, like veggies.

What kind of sugar am I eating? Ideally only legit maple syrup or organic fruit. That means no agave, no coconut sugar, no cane sugar, no brown sugar or normal refined sugar. Well, top chop. That pretty much rules out any product you buy in a store or sweet treat you buy in a restaurant. Except for our Happy Dough, of course. We made our Dough low sugar for a reason – so we’d want to eat it, too! (we figure if we don’t eat it, why would anyone else?)

With this mindset, I’ve been playing in the kitchen nonstop. A girl’s gotta eat! And it’s always fun to have a lil’ sweet something. Are you curious what the benefits are to making food from scratch? Watch this video sharing why I choose to prioritize making food from scratch and how it’s benefiting me and sir Kovy.

Back to Gluten-free MacaCoco Gingies for Adrenal Happiness! That’s why you’re here right? This simple recipe has Maca in it, a Peruvian powder that serves an adaptogen, balancing out your body from the inside out. Here’s the Maca we buy from Thrive Market or Terrasoul. Plus, these MacaCoco Gingies are low in sugar and seasoned with yummy organic spices and fresh ginger root. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

I’ve added a variety of organic spices. Have fun playing around with the amount of each. Feel free to just “throw some in” instead of following the exact number. This is how I usually roll! 

  • 2 cups coconut flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cups unrefined coconut oil
  • 3/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup maple syrup. Craving more sweetness? Opt for 1/2 cup.
  • 1/8 cup Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/4 cup of fresh ginger root (peeled and chopped) Do you like your gingies with a kick? Make it a heaping 1/2 cup!
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Option: top your balls with nut of choice (this sentence makes me laugh!)

RECIPE

  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth-ish. 
  • Roll into balls or shape of choice. If you find the consistency too dry, feel free to add an extra 1/4 cup of coconut oil.
  • Makes approximately 28-30 balls (1 1/2 inch diameter)
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Let cool and enjoy! I find these balls get a little chewier after a half day. 

Chuck the Sugar: Yum Granola Recipe without the extra Poop

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

Okay, so clearly poop is on my mind. That’s what happens when you change diaper after diaper (of Kovy, our baby, not mine). Making my own food so I can ditch all the over-stimulating and stress-producing sugar is also on my mind. That’s what happens when you want your baby to sleep well, keep an even blood sugar level and not get addicted to sweet things at an early age (3 weeks – that’s a bit early if you ask me).

So here we go. My Yum Granola Recipe without the extra Poop. Poop, being sugar. Not real poop. As you can see from the pics, the granola sticks together into chewy bits. Heck, you could slab some almond butter, drizzle a little maple syrup on top and call it a day!

Flavor Notice: Obviously this granola is not super sweet, given the only sugar comes from apples and goji berries. If you’re craving extra sweetness, add some maple syrup.

As (almost) always: This recipe is free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn. Yet note that there is animal based collagen.

Enjoy, friends! Now it’s time to go change a diaper. Kovy’s, not mine.

Yum Granola Recipe
without the extra Poop

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 chia seeds
  • Blend together (in food processor):
    • 2 medium apples
    • 1 juicy lemon
    • 1/2 cup flaxseed
    • 1/2 cup collagen (we use Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen)
    • 1/2 cup goji berries
    • 1/4 cup avocado oil
    • approx. 2 inches of fresh ginger (peeled)
  • After blending concoction above, add to mixing bowl with all the oats and chia seeds. Give it a good mix.
  • Sprinkle sea salt to taste.
  • Place concoction on baking sheet (we like to use recycled parchment paper to ensure our granola doesn’t stick)
  • Bake at 300 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool, break apart into pieces.
  • Munch on with a warm cuppa and embrace some good quality journaling time. Enjoy!

Flatten out your granola before placing in the oven.

Cozy up and get your journaling on. Or I suppose if you’re feeling adventurous, take your granola on the go. Enjoy!


HUNGRY FOR MORE?

DOWNLOAD OUR NUTRITIONAL GUIDE – a Global Approach to Eating Well

Welcome to Lifestyle Exploring (with our new addition: Kovy Zealand Komer!)

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

New blog focus. New videos. New eCourse coming your way. Oh ya, and a brand new baby! Geez, we’ve been busy.

I’m really excited to be writing this blog to you. Why? Because it’s my first since Kovy Zealand Komer was born on 1.6.17. We have so much to talk about! While I’ve been journaling before and after Kovy was born, there’s something about writing to you (whoever you may be) that’s uniquely fun and therapeutic for me. So thanks for being here, it honestly means a lot to me! I hope I’ve returned the favor in some capacity with my quirky humor, random knowledge, curious perspective and lifestyle adventures. In fact, that’s what I’m writing about…lifestyle adventures. More specifically, lifestyle exploring! What is lifestyle exploring? Well, I made a video to answer this and introduce you to our lifestyle approach and why we do what we do (what do we do, anyhoo?).

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you’ve noticed I’ve been on a video kick. Well go figure, it’s easier (read: more efficient) for me to post videos than write blogs. Why? Because I can hold Kovy while doing a video and I can’t hold him while writing a blog. Don’t worry, this blog won’t disappear. It will, however, begin to include more of my personal experiences to navigating a healthy lifestyle. Consider this more of a “this is what I do and why I do it” space instead of a “this is what you should do and why”. Besides, you don’t want to be told what to do. You’re a clever and accountable kid. I do hope that by sharing my experiences, I can inspire you to take charge of your own health and wellbeing (remember, health to me means: balance, awareness and connection within your entire lifestyle, or something along those lines). This is definitely my goal. My other goals for you include: Get to know the whole-istic connection with the health of your body, mind, community and planet • cultivate the gumption to create your own path • ask why • find balance in your life • build a positive legacy. Those are big goals! Well, what can I say, I’m ambitious. I’ve also been rambling on a bit. So let’s watch this video and see what Lifestyle Exploring is all about!

You can also be sure I’ll be sharing bits of my pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience here. I hope to be a handy resource for women interested in a non-invasive, natural and peaceful birthing experience (seriously, I do mean peaceful. It’s all about perspective, friends), as well as the lead up and post-birth experiences. I’ll just say this for now: your approach to a situation is everything.

Oh wait, you were looking for baby pics? Well in that case, here’s an official welcome to Kovy Zealand Komer…


And a ridiculously special thank you to Beach Cities Midwifery as well as our BirthWorks teacher and Doula, Janell Bartzatt!

 

DIY Ideas to making 2017 your very own Adventure

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

I’ve taken it upon myself to declare 2017 the Year of the Adventurer. Actually, between you and me, I hereby declare every year the Year of the Adventurer. After all, every year deserves to be a grand and epic adventure, don’t you think?

What do I define as one? Honestly, just about anything…it simply depends on your outlook and perspective. To me, an experience can be another word for adventure. Wow, think how many experiences you had in 2016. And can you imagine how many you’ll have in 2017? Oh the variety! Oh the thrilling, challenging, monumental, uplifting, empowering and awe-inspiring experiences you might encounter…if you are open to them.

For Christmas this year, Matt and I chose to have a theme, as we often do, for our gifts for each other. While living in Australia after college, we traveled to Bali, Indonesia just before Christmas. Our theme was “from Bali + max of $10”. I gotta tell you, you could get a lot for $10 in Bali in 2003. This year’s theme? YOU ARE AN ADVENTURER.

This is the ONLY photo I could find on my computer from our 2003 Bali trip. Of course it’s of a monkey with ginormous balls. Why wouldn’t this be the only pic I saved on my computer? Well, either way, I was impressed. At the monkey. And no, this was not a part of Matt’s gift. Though I did frame this image and give it to my brother, no joke.

If you’ve been following my blog or any social media outlet of ours, you might have noticed I’m quite private with our personal life. I have an inside deal with me and social media. I have vowed to not post anything public about how special our anniversary was or how much I love him on his birthday, or how he loves me on mine..this is something I simply prefer to share privately with him (as it is, in fact, for and with only him). Just a personal preference. Yet I’m daring to stretch a bit today by revealing part of my Christmas present to Matt (shh, don’t tell him). Why? Because I had so much fun creating it and I’m thinking you might dig creating your own DIY 2017 Adventure ideas, too!

What’s the budget for these ideas? $0. Zero. Zilch. I highly encourage you to use what you have around you.

Either DIY project can be for yourself, a friend or loved one…


What you need:
  • Mason jar (or any container that floats your boat)
  • Cut pieces of paper (make it colorful for extra pizazz)
  • Extra paper to create label
What you do:
  • Decide if this is for you, a friend or a loved one.
  • Using any type of paper, create label to place inside of jar (I used the backside of an old calendar page). Example title: My Year as an Adventurer. My promises to living my Adventure. My 2017 Adventure Promises. 
  • On small strips of paper, write down any and all promises / intentions for living your year as an Adventurer. Here are a few questions to spark ideas: What adventures will you go on? What do you want to experience this year? How do you want to feel? How you will take on daily adventures? What is your outlook on an adventure? What is your outlook on a challenging experience? How can you a challenging situation more of an adventure as opposed to an ordeal? How can you live your life as the adventure it deserves to be?
  • Place your written intentions into jar.
  • Tadaaaaaa! If this is for you, keep your jar in a place where you’ll see it often.
  • What next? Open your jar and peruse your intentions every quarter or so to see how you’re doing with your intentions. Even better, keep them on your coffee table and share them with a friend! Makes for a unique conversation!

Next up, looking at your year ahead…

What you need:
  • 1 medium / large mason Jar (to place your adventures)
  • 1 small mason jar (for unused strips of paper)
  • Cut pieces of paper (make it colorful for extra pizazz)
  • Extra paper to create label
  • Optional: stickers or labels to decorate lid of jar (I used my unused stickers from my 2016 Erin Condren LifePlanner)
What you do:
  • Using any type of paper, create label to place inside of the medium / large jar (I used the backside of an old calendar page). Example title: My 2017 Adventures, Our 2017 Adventures. 
  • Place all previously cut strips of paper into the small (unlabeled) mason jar. Keep this next to your other jar, with a pen handy to be able to write on a whim.
  • Extra cool idea: Remind yourself daily of what an adventure is. Write down your definition of an Adventure. Place this on the label of your jar.
  • What next? Anytime you experience an adventure, write it down! The good, the bad, the awesomely ugly (and of course the hilarious). Remember, an adventure can be as simple as having a randomly funny conversation with a stranger. Two days ago a man stopped me in front of Sprouts to pet our dog Mozzy. He went on a 5 minute tangent about the oddity of dogs (did you know Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions? That’s the word on the street, apparently.). Moral of the story: give an opportunity a chance…who knows what you might experience. An adventure is something you learn from. Maybe you learned something new about yourself – write it down. Anything worth remembering. An adventure can also be anything that’s out of your norm or your comfort zone. Something that expands your perspective and outlook on life. Oh the possibilities!

Okie dokie, my creative cats. There’s more where this came from, yet we’ll let these projects marinate for a bit, first. This way, you’ll be able to soak up all the flavor. Don’t be shy, share what you’ve created in the comments section below! I’d love to see!

Now I’m hungry thinking about marinating yummy things. I did just take a make-your-own-kimchi class at the Fermentation Farm. Maybe it’s time to spice things up with some probiotic awesomeness. My gut is already dancing with happiness just thinking about it. Until next time…

Oh wait. You’re still here? Fantastic! Are you looking for more New Year adventurous & empowering experiences? Check out these resources, I think they’re right up your happy & curious alley…

If you want to whole-istically empower your daily lifestyle from the inside out (meaning your mind, body and lifestyle):


If you’d like to reflect on 2016 while embracing the possibilities of 2017:

5 THINGS: A Personal Exploration Worksheet to celebrate your year past & create what’s to come…

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

I love questions, especially introspective ones. Don’t you? Asking, answering, pondering. It’s all brain expanding. Yet I’ve noticed my most AHA! moments appear when I actually write down my answer to a personal question compared to simply thinking about it. Why is this? I’m guessing it has to do with centering my focus on one thing and simmering down the constant chatter going on in my head (right now it’s saying how much I love this music I’m listening to from the films Australia and Cloud Atlas).

When we have to choose our words more carefully, we are more mindful of the energy we use, as well as sharing an accurate portrayal of our perspective. We are simply more mindful of the words we choose. At least that’s how I feel. How about you? Do you find writing to be a useful resource for personal reflection, brain calming practices, and to clarify issues? Let that marinate for a moment, if you’d like (see, I love questions). 

With that said…

At the culmination of last year, I created Your Year in Review Worksheet, 8 questions to absorb the year’s nutrient dense experiences while hydrating your inspiration and motivation for the next. I highly encourage you to partake in this worksheet. It’s fun, reflective, nutrient dense (as suggested) and fuels your internal inspiration.

THIS year, I have chosen to share 5 THINGS: 10 questions to celebrate where you’ve been and explore where you’re going. Each question asks for 5 “things” (and maybe a few bonus opportunities) to help you wonder in awe over how great you really are! Yep. You really are a spectacular spectacle. Seriously, there’s only one of you in this whole ginormous world. Only YOU can make the unique impact on this world in a way that only YOU can…and choose to. Pretty rad! It’s like we’re all super heroes with our own special powers. In fact, maybe we need to make this worksheet 11 questions, the 11th being: What’s your super hero name and special power? Let that marinate for a moment…

Without further brain chatter,
please enjoy this opportunity to embrace your very own super hero personal exploration:

The first half of 5 Things provides an opportunity for you to observe, reflect & grow from your year past. There is always something to learn from an experience…if you are open to it. This is your chance to expand your perspective and appreciate how far you’ve come this past year.

The second half will focus on the present, which in turn dictates your future. Your mindset today influences your outlook on life and yourself. Looking at your year ahead, this is your opportunity to imagine, initiate & decide what’s to come.

My one non-negotiatable request: Write from your heart & gut. Put aside any expectations or assumptions, whether they stem from you or an outside influence. This is YOUR worksheet and YOUR life. Let’s act accordingly. Good talk.

My curious-like-a-cat request: You’ve done a fantastic job reflecting and creating by putting pen to paper. Now what? Pick your favorite or most eye-opening answer in the comments section below. You never know, you might inspire someone else with your words. (I’m pretty sure you will…you are a super hero, after all) 

A Personal Exploration Worksheet (Dec ’16)


A Personal Exploration Worksheet (Dec ’16)

How to prep to EAT CLEAN for TRAVEL + Eco-Friendly Practices

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

Sipping on a frothy blend of iced espresso under an arbor of dried palms, I watched my friends play Backgammon (still completely confused how to play) on the island of Sifnos, Greece. This crew is well versed on the joys and woes of travel – they have traversed the world for business, personal amusement, curiosity and family. So I ask them a question I am on a mission to resolve…

“What gets in the way of you feeling your best when traveling?”

Remember, traveling can be a day trip to a water polo tournament, a weekend visiting family, a flight across country, a 5 week wander down under (Australia. Not your pants), or moving to a country on the other side of the world.

And the verdict is?

  1. Jetlag
  2. Bowel issues
  3. Access to good (healthy) food while in transit (airports, driving, etc)
  4. Good (healthy) food at the destination

What are your Top 4?

It’s crazy how all of these are directly related to food. Or maybe it’s not so crazy? Food gives us energy, after all. If you don’t have clean options, then your sustainable energy will suffer (not sure what I mean by clean options? Read this bit on eating clean and then check out this eating clean guide).

Half the fun of traveling is experiencing the area’s culture, including the locale’s unique cuisine. Cambodian spring rolls (only $1 for a plate in Siem Reap!), cured meats in northern Italy, goat skewers in Rwanda, homemade tortillas in Nicaragua. And of course 5 different cheese dishes as appetizers in Greece (and you’re supposed to order a full entrée after, too?).

Side note: When I travel abroad, my gut responds better to foods I normally don’t eat here (e.g. dairy, gluten, cured meats). Why? Well, I’m guessing it’s the quality, sourcing and freshness. But that’s for a separate blog.

My point is that if you’re traveling for the sake of experiencing culture, cuisine and local experiences, you’re probably going to pack only so much extra food – like the essentials to know you’re getting enough probiotics, vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. This is why we travel with Vega Nutritional and / or Protein powders…They’re easily digestible, full of probiotics, vitamins, protein, minerals, fiber and other plant-based goodies to supplement the often carb-based breakfast found in airports and abroad (I’m sorry, I don’t function on one croissant and a coffee).

Let’s look beyond the exotic locales of international cuisine and address the issues we probably come up with more in our everyday life…

WHAT IF you’re going somewhere that you know does NOT have your style of clean eating options? GASP! Or maybe it’s available, it’s just bloody expensive. What do you pack? How can you still support your clean eating habits, feel great during and after your traveling, without breaking the bank? Oh, and let’s not forget about making eco-conscious choices while on your travels. Making environmentally happy choices can be particularly challenging when driving, flying or staying outside the comforts of your home’s recycling bin and reusable containers.

It’s all about preparation (not the preparation H stuff you wipe on your butt). 

These days, I’m spending a lot of my time driving to LA or super south Orange County…so there’s a lot of time in the car. I (sometimes we, as in Matt and me) tend to be gone for at least half the day. Which means we’re also away from our fresh produce and goodies in the house. And this girl’s gotta eat. And go figure, she’s picky about what she eats. And she doesn’t like to spend a lot of money eating out, especially when she can make it at home. Okay, I’ll stop with the 3rd person thing…

Here we go friends. Below is my list of ways to prep to EAT CLEAN for travel, while supporting eco-friendly practices.

Why focus on the eco-friendly practices? I figure there’s no reason to compromise on my values of eco-consciousness while traveling, as this would mean my travel experience wouldn’t be as genuinely awesome and mindful as I’d like it to be. I don’t want to use travel as an excuse for not supporting my values. That’s not cool, man. Not cool.

Reminder: Your version of traveling might be a half day, full day, weekend, week, month, year and so on. It might be via foot, car, plane, metro, bus, ship, etc.

Ways to eat clean during travel, while supporting eco-friendly practices
  • Prepackage your food in mason jars or BPA-free tupperware. This way, you don’t waste disposable packaging, plus you’ll have snacks at the ready.
    • Here are items we’ll bring if we’re staying somewhere for a while:
      • Smoothie and oatmeal ingredients: Chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, cacao nibs, protein powder (can be stored together or separately).
      • Nuts galore: walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pistachios.
      • Dinner options: dried lentils or quinoa to make into a soup or hearty salad.
    • Here are a few suggestions to pack by the plant-based experts at Vega:

  • Explore. Connect. Support. Get out to your destination’s farmer’s market to explore your new surroundings, connect with the community and support local farmers.

What’s in season in Slovenia? Apparently, fresh grapes, figs and melons are…at least in September!

DRIVING TO YOUR LOCALE?

  • Keep several reusable water bottles in the car. You can never have too much filtered water at the ready!
  • Bring your own dish soap. Yep, dish soap. You choose to eat clean food. Choose to eat from natural and non-toxic covered dish ware, cups and silverware. We like Seventh Generation dish soap and powder. If you have a favorite, share it in the comments below!
  • We bring our own Vitamix when we drive to a locale for a long weekend (or longer). It’s totally worth it for us. We blend up our smoothies, juices and even dairy-free cashew ice cream. Yum!
  • Pre-pack the little things. We bring our organic oils (e.g. avocado, coconut) to cook with and organic spices / salts to flavor meals. I’ve found that spices, salts and oils are often the overlooked areas when eating clean and it can be difficult (or expensive) to buy them at our destination.

Save, Savor, and Create. For our Thanksgiving travels, most of our dry goods were pre-packed or ordered online and delivered to our destination. All fresh produce was purchased at local markets or farmers’ markets.

TRAVELING WITHIN THE U.S.?

  • Give yourself a special delivery! Order from an online membership-based health market, like Thrive Market, to deliver at your destination. Be sure to check with your destination to ensure you can receive packages. Because you’re so rad, this link provided gives you 15% off your first order.

EXTRA COOL ECO-HAPPY IDEAS (MAKES FOR GREAT GIFTS)

  • Love your bag. Use your colorful reusable Love Bag Cooler to keep your goods fresh. We use Love Bags for a daily lunch outing, Happy Dough deliveries, in-flight snack storage, and even bringing a holiday meal to family.
  • Whip it out. Bring your Shaker Cup for your on-the-go energizer, protein drink, or post-workout recovery shake. We’re especially keen on Vega’s Recovery powder. We love how it replenishes and balances your system with electrolytes and maca while decreasing inflammation with turmeric.
  • Don’t forget your extra shoppers! Yay for California passing the new law to decrease the use of plastic bags. Keeping extra shoppers in your purse, man-bag, car and carry-on luggage is always a dandy idea.

Now I’m sure there’s more travel happy ideas to be had…yet this is the capacity my brain permits at the moment. Perhaps I can follow up with a Round 2, when time, desire, demand and creativity allow. Or if you can’t wait…peruse my INSTAGRAM @aytlifestyle, which is full of travel ideas (among other lifestyle explorations).


Now it’s your turn…

Do you have favorite prepping tips to eat clean while traveling? How about favorite eco-friendly practices?

Share your awesomeness in the comments below! 

Create your own Life Adventure

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

“YOU ARE AN ADVENTURER.

STOP TRYING TO PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE.

THERE’S NO FUN IN PLANNING.”

 

Someone very close to me shared this wise observation with me today. Spoken so simply, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the obviousness of this comment.

An adventure is an adventure because it carries an element of surprise, encouraging you to bask willingly in the unknown and out of your comfort zone. It’s exhilarating, inspiring and fun. For me, adventure cultivates creativity, spontaneity, curiosity, connection, imagination, resulting in pure bliss. Adventurers embrace this experience.

Can you plan pure bliss?

 

I think we both know the answer to that question.

Yet for Matt and I, as of late we couldn’t help but try to plan out our life – our Adventure, our Bliss. We’re 35 and 36, having our first Wolfie (baby) in less than a month, run our own business which always includes a handful projects and potential directions, all while living at my in-laws’ home and exploring where we want to move next. For a while, I couldn’t help but think..Oh crap, what are we going to do next? Where are we going to go? What should we do with our business? Should we focus on income or focus first on what we love and allow the income follow? Expand Happy Dough? Spend all our time on our online eCourses and digital Resources? Teach more of my private & group lifestyle sessions? Eek! What to do!? We have to know! 

I think our open-ended lifestyle freaks the f$%* out of most people. In fact, it freaked the f*#% out of us for a while. We thought knowing our entire path would answer all our burning and yearning questions and make us feel more confident in our choices and direction. Funny enough, it was quite the opposite. Trying to figure everything out literally stressed us out and left us feeling stagnant and stuck. Worst of all, it made us question our intuition, our gut. We temporarily forgot…we are Adventurers.

A note on planning: There is a difference between over planning and having direction. This post is about having direction while letting go of the urge to over plan. Just want to make sure we’re all on the same page here, or at least reading the same book. Good talk.

Have you ever experienced something like this? The urge to want to plan everything, which actually stalled you from taking action and got in the way of you being present to make the most of your current moment, minute, situation or experience?

This urge to plan begs the question…am I fearful of the unknown? Are you?

First, we wander. Travel. I find my pure bliss when I travel. In every town, city or village Matt and I visit – whether it’s domestic or international – the first thing we crave is a wander. We walk, explore and absorb. There’s no fancy agenda, no master plan, no expectations. We start with a direction in mind (usually having to do with a local eatery or health food store). Once we start moving in this direction, we rely on our curiosity, passion and gut (for both hunger and intuition) to guide us.

Stop trying to plan your Adventure. There’s no fun in planning. This is when it hit me. When I wander, travel, explore…this is when I am at my happiest, living my life in a way that allows me to feel free, open to new experiences, embracing the quirky surprises along the way, all while having a sense of direction and purpose. The lack of a GPS exact route is what actually helps me move forward, take action, be my best self in the moment, feel successful and happy. Maybe I should embrace life as I embrace travel: The unknown, the ups and downs, the new relationships and connections, the expanding of my brain and heart as I willingly absorb life-changing experiences. Through my travels, I cultivate creativity, spontaneity, curiosity, connection, imagination, resulting in pure bliss. Hmm, that sounds like my version of an adventure.

If life is an Adventure (something I speak about in my upcoming Center Yourself eCourse), then I choose to live it in the same way that I travel. Openly.

I’m not sure where you are in your life Adventure. Yet if you’ve ever felt that all your planning has only left you going in circles, worried and more unsure of yourself than when you started…remember, you too, are an Adventurer. Live your life as the Adventure it’s meant to be. Ease back on the reigns. Not knowing everything is part of your Adventure. And maybe, just maybe, you’re meant to experience this until you learn how to chill the f^$% out (or guide others around you to do the same). Haha. Just joking. But seriously.

It’s time to go for a wander.

Are you with me, Simpkins?*

* If you know what movie this quote is from, 101 extra bonus points for you! If not, go watch The Holiday this week…it’s happy and full of gumption (my favorite word).

Get to know Jaime Komer: the real one.

By | Healthy Mindset, News, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Have you ever had an empowering moment where you get a seemingly invigorating & wild idea in your head? Yet before you know it, your logic sets in and you change your mind? Wait, scratch that. It’s your fear that sets in that stops you from acting on it.

Ya, I think we’ve all been there. We all have fears. For many of us, fear dictates our decisions. It happens. Yet hopefully we can find the courage to say no thank you fear. I respect you. But it’s about time you step aside. Sadly, I get the sense that some folk close the door entirely on their lively gut instinct and forgo a life of gumption, vitality and wonderment. But I know that’s not you. You still have your insatiable curiosity for life. Good on ya, mate.

I’ve been doing a lot of personal exploration as of late. Hmm, that sounds a bit naughty (said with a british accent)…I mean mental personal exploration of course. Of course. I just completed the inspiring eCourse Do What You Love, by Beth Kempton that invigorated me with a purposeful focus and zest for life. While going over my 5 weeks of in-depth personal exploration, a few themes became very apparent for me. My number one theme? I feel free when I am being myself.

This invigorating & wild idea has been looming around in my head. The one I’ve put aside for sometime. Share who I am. Yes, in blogs, videos, social media. Eek! You mean put myself out there for all to see? Yes. Just do it. I’m meant to be myself. Aren’t we all? If I’m going to blog, video, post…don’t sugar coat it (sugar is gross anyway), share my perspective. Be me. Okay, fine. It’s time! I hear ya, gut!

As the great Derek Zoolander inquires, Who am I? Well I’d like to reintroduce myself.

Hi, I'm Jaime.

Hi, I’m Jaime.


I’m Jaime. And this is my Real Wild Bio: A story that shares who I am, not what I do. Because I do way too many things to sum it up into a title (hence why I made up my own anyway, Lifestyle Guide. Thankfully, Lifestyle Guide covers one’s entire life.)

I believe in living a life I am passionate about. This requires honesty, guts and confidence. I am a creative, adaptable, curious and positive. I believe in being true to myself. I believe in making decisions with my gut, not my wallet. I believe in leading by example, being accountable for myself, my health, the energy I give out to others and the world around me. I believe in creating a positive legacy that will inspire others to create their own.

I am motivated by happy people, nature, whole food ingredients, and a natural whole-istic approach to health. I am proud of my passion for creating my own path. I am proud of my ability to connect and communicate with others. I am proud of my all-encompassing background and experience.

I want to embrace each day with a grateful and adventurous mindset. I want to live my life with gumption. I want to put my heart into anything I do – otherwise it’s not worth doing.

I can offer this world my perspective – an open and genuine one. My unique approach to living a healthy and happy lifestyle. My experience as someone who is not afraid to go after what they believe in, to challenge the norm, to bridge the gaps and pioneer a path to reconnect our body, mind, lifestyle and planet.

The following Q&A are some of my answers to questions within worksheets I did in the Do What You Love eCourse…

What makes my heart sing?
  • Being outside and in nature
  • Exploring + learning new things
  • Travel
  • My creative outlets: writing, designing a space, teaching, jewelry, documenting and sharing an experience.
  • Living a lifestyle I love.
CamelBak
When I write a book, it will be called: Live your life with Gumption.

What does it mean to live your life with gumption? Jaime Komer was on a mission to find out. Actually, she kind of ran into it – it smacked her silly one day when she decided “I love me as me and that’s exactly who I’m meant to be.” Find inspiration to live your own life with gumption as Jaime takes you on an adventure around the world with hilarious and epic accounts of culture, lifestyle, nature, challenges, change and growth.

My values:
  • Freedom
  • Creativity + Curiosity
  • Positivity + Happiness
  • Nature
  • Health + Wellbeing
  • Respect for the environment
  • Open perspective + Adaptability
  • Appreciation + Love
  • Accountability + Morality
How Matt and I travel:

Budget friendly while upholding our standards of healthy living, eco-consciousness and cleanliness.

image by Achilles Imperial

image by Achilles Imperial

On my travels, this is what I pack:
  • Curiosity
  • A sense of adventure
  • An open mind
  • Clarity
  • An open heart
  • Positivity
  • Courage + Bravery
  • Belief (in myself and others)
  • A supportive community
  • Boldness
  • My VOICE.
What does “doing what you love” mean to me?
  • Being proud of what I do, of myself
  • Being true to myself
  • A sense of FREEDOM
  • Willing to take on the challenge
  • Willing to work for what I love!
  • Travel
  • Opportunity to be outdoors
  • Creating a positive legacy
  • Being a positive influence on others
unnamedHow do I want to feel when talking about work?

Proud of what I do and my choices to stick to my guns. I want to feel energetic for what’s to come while appreciative of what I’ve already done.

How do I want to feel inside of my life, each and every day?

Curious, energetic, enthusiastic, grateful, proud of myself, anxious to learn more, driven, enjoying the moment.

My Secret Weapons:
  • img_9372Communication – ability to listen and connect with others. Making things relevant.
  • Adaptability + Versatility – Being open, well-rounded, able to go with the flow and immerse myself in most environments.
  • Creativity – Creating new things and ideas. From concepts to writing to food concoctions to visual design to jewelry to instructing to room & eco design.
  • Organizing – Rearranging to make things functional and as user-friendly as can be.
  • Positivity – Being positive for myself and for (to) others. Sharing a positive energy.
  • Creating my own path – honoring my self-worth, living my unconventional lifestyle…PIONEERING.
  • Inspiring others to empower their lifestyle + make positive health changes.
  • Learning about healthy living + applying it into my own life…LEADING BY EXAMPLE (ahem…navigating a healthy lifestyle!).
  • Customizer – Working with what I’ve got or where I’m at. I adapt to what I have. From making a healthy meal with what I’ve got in stock to helping someone make relevant changes in their  lifestyle that are safe and appropriate.
  • Perspective – I can see the big picture. I can put myself in another’s shoes (though I prefer to go barefoot).
How do I plan to Do What I Love in the future?

Honoring my value of freedom by applying my strengths and passion for inspiring others, creating my own path, leading by example of living a holistic & healthy lifestyle. I choose to live my dream of being paid to live and travel abroad, around nature, learning about lifestyles while sharing my own, which of course includes taking our kids on our global adventures as part of their schooling. Word. Or if you add some Love to it – WorLd. 

image by Achilles Imperial

image by Achilles Imperial


Now it’s YOUR turn.

Is there an invigorating & wild idea that’s been floating to the surface time and time again? If so, write it down and keep it handy. What is holding you back from going for it? Write down 3 steps you can take to get your feet wet. Can you do some research? Share your idea with a trusted friend? What is the worst that can happen if you pursue this idea? What is the best that can happen? Is there one thing you can do today to test it out?

Are there areas in your life where you’re holding back? Where you could live more in line with your genuine self?

compass-series-_-indiv-eguide-logos-6

OUR FIRST EVER eCOURSE IS ARRIVING SOON…SIGN UP HERE FOR TO BE THE FIRST IN THE KNOW! 

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How to EAT CLEAN: from my perspective to yours

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

This post is part of a continued discussion exploring the question What does it mean to EAT CLEAN? If you haven’t read my previous post on this stimulating subject, please wander over there now. It’s like a prebiotic, it will help prepare you to digest and absorb all the nutritional goodness from this blog.

It's time to go exploring! Your journey will be different from anyone else's. Yep, you're that special.

It’s time to go exploring! Your journey will be different from anyone else’s. Yep, you’re that special.

On eating clean…we’ve covered why it’s important to question your source of nutritional advice, along with how eating clean can mean many different things, depending on your perspective. Now I’ll be sharing my own version of how we can eat clean on a daily basis to feel our best today, tomorrow and 10 years from now (I call this Sustainable Health). I hope you’re already asking, why should I trust you, Jaime? This means you’ve still got your Curious Inquisitor Cap on from the last blog. Good on ya! To answer your question in the form of a nutshell:

Nutshell Begin: It’s your choice to trust me or not as a resource for eating clean and navigating a healthy lifestyle. Let’s hear it for freedom of choice! My perspective is based on my experience training for the Olympic Games, instructing for several years within the fitness / health community, traveling around the world and observing other cultures, certifications in plant-based sports nutrition, creating and selling our nutrient dense Happy Dough snacks and learning about the global connection your nutrition has with your entire wellbeing. More importantly, I am crazy passionate about understanding how things are connected and how one thing may influence another. I think this stemmed from my own experience of injuries, stress, fatigue, digestion issues. I was always perceived as the “healthy one”, which perplexed me since I was also dealing with these annoying ailments. Seriously, how healthy are you if you experience a plethora of negative symptoms?

When I dove in deeper into exploring the potential cause of my own negative symptoms, I noticed many resources out there only focus on putting a bandaid on the symptom, not addressing the cause. Let alone the big picture and how all the causes are intertwined. This (along with my continued education and finding my own trusted resources), I made certain changes in my nutrition (and lifestyle) and experienced some seriously positive and elevating outcomes.

lifestyle-guiding-%e2%80%a2-happy-dough-%e2%80%a2

Perhaps the enlarged nutshell above explains why I’m so passionate about what I love to do. You have to be curious to explore!

To top this nutshell off with some delectable ghee, I believe we are each unique and there is never a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to your nutrition, health or lifestyle. I do my best to respect this when sharing ways to navigate a healthy lifestyle. I do not believe in quick fixes, because your body adapts to what you do most often, so a quick fix may only be addressing the symptom, not the cause of an issue. You need to address health from a whole-istic (global) perspective. Nutshell End.Wow, that’s one big nut.

Man, you’re a tough interrogator.

Starting simple…the following snippet is an excerpt from my Nutritional eGuide1000x200-blog-titles-12

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SOUNDBITE ON HOW TO EAT CLEAN…

When possible, eat local, organic, non-GMO, nutrient dense and primarily alkaline-forming foods.

These 5 adjectives (local, organic, non-GM , nutrient dense, alkaline-forming) cast a big net over healthy nutrition guidance, without (yet) going into the necessary detail and explanation (hence why this is a Nutritional Guide, not a Nutritional Sentence). Yet I have to say, I am quite proud of myself for this simple sentence (being someone who tends to write as though I’m talking to you in person, spouting out run-off sentences and quirky sound effects while giving you 5 explanations – thus, 5 run-off sentences – about why something is the way it is, even though I am just literally whipping it out of my – wait, what was I talking about?).

Back to eating local, organic, non-GMO, nutrient dense and primarily alkaline-forming foods…


IF YOU’RE READY FOR MORE THAN JUST A SOUNDBITE…

jaime-komers-guide-to-eating-clean

That’s what she said.

Sign up for your free download on EATING CLEAN. Yum.

*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!

 

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What does it mean to EAT CLEAN?

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, Healthy Mindset, News, Resources, Self Care

It’s time to unearth the truth! What does it mean to EAT CLEAN? Wait just one don’t-be-hasty-Master-Meriadoc moment, this question is not as simple as it may appear…and that’s the whole point.

As with many words in the health and wellness industry, Eating Clean is not definitive or quantifiable. It is defined by YOUR perspective. The same goes for being healthy. What does it mean to be healthy? What does natural mean? Even the word organic gets tossed around like a lively kale salad. I often use the word healthy, yet have hesitated at times because I see many companies, brands and people use it in a context very different from my own. This is why I’ve taken the time to define my own perspective on healthy here.happy-dough-8Health related words are used so loosely, it’s easy to be misled by media, food packaging, government guidelines, “experts”, social outlets, or even a favorite fitness instructor.

The Single All Natural Burger by Carl's Jr. How is their definition of natural different from yours?

The Single All Natural Burger by Carl’s Jr. How is their definition of natural different from yours?

CASE IN POINT #1: Carl’s Jr. makes a Single All-Natural Burger. Do you see in the small subtitles below the image to the right? Apparently they refer solely to the burger patty being all-natural, not the processed ingredients of the ketchup, bun and American Cheese. Yet since this patty isn’t USDA organic, how natural is it? Last time I checked, herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified organisms aren’t exactly natural. Ps: “grass-fed” is also a very loose term used. To me, the Carl’s Jr. Single All-Natural Burger is a solid example of using a word to market towards a certain community. Is it cool they’re going in a more natural direction? Absolutely! I’ll applaud this initiative. Yet is the word natural being used as loosely as ***$!%**#$! (I’m sorry, I can only think of totally inappropriate loose jokes. You get the picture)? Yes. Yes it is.

Who do you trust for nutritional advice? You may trust a source in certain areas for your health (e.g. yoga instructor, family doctor, CrossFit Coach, sports coaches, etc.) yet do you know their specific perspective on this issue? Even Nutritionists and Registered Dieticians who clearly specialize in “eating well” have their own perspective and beliefs on this topic. Here are a few questions worth asking and looking into:

  • Where does their knowledge or education come from?

  • If they focus on or feature a particular type of eating style (e.g. paleo, plant-based, gluten-free), what is their reasoning behind it? Is it based on personal preference or another reason?

  • Are they sponsored by anyone that could influence what they tell you?

  • Are they promoting a product that could sway what they say?

  • What does healthy, natural, organic or clean mean to this person or company?

You can ask me these questions. I won’t be offended. I’ve had numerous clients ask me what I eat to be healthy and maintain my “image” and active lifestyle. Prior to my plant-based sports nutrition education, maybe they trusted my opinion because I’m an Olympic Medalist. That should offer some solid street cred, right? Yet I can now say I knew very little about healthy eating when I was training and competing. Let me clarify, I knew very little about what foods actually improved my recovery time and decreased inflammation and stress – pretty much the most important topics I should have known. Thankfully my insatiable curiosity has motivated me since to explore these topics along with the lifelong wonder of how to eat for sustainable health.

It’s time to put on your very own Curious Inquisitor Cap and ask the question…

what does it mean to EAT CLEAN?

I am daring to write about Eating Clean during one of the most indulgent weeks of the American calendar. Thanksgiving Day is days away, along with the traditional sweet potato marshmallow dollops, buttery gravy, garlic bread, sweet cranberry toppings and delectable pumpkin party pies (I think all pumpkin pies should be renamed to pumpkin party pies just to add a little extra pizazz in our life).

Am I writing to guilt all of us into eating healthier this week? Of course not…If you tell me “not to do something”, I will usually go and do it. It’s best to focus on making positive additions if you want to make sustainable healthy lifestyle changes…not the negative.

Who knew! 95% of our Serotonin (associated with our mood balance) is produced in our gut. FYI: a deficit in Serotonin can lead to depression. It's pretty empowering to think that by eating in a way to support your gut health, you can improve your mood and happiness. Very empowering, indeed.

Who knew! 95% of our Serotonin (associated with our mood balance) is produced in our gut. FYI: a deficit in Serotonin can lead to depression. It’s pretty empowering to think that by eating in a way to support your gut health, you can improve your mood and happiness. Very empowering, indeed.

CASE IN POINT #2: While chillaxing in Sifnos, Greece over the summer, our dear friends took us to a local eatery that specializes in the local sweet treat, Loukoumades, an air-light donut doused in local honey. Yum! Matt told me we shouldn’t have our own plate and it’s best we share. Apparently I took this as a challenge and stubbornly ordered my own plate of 6 honey drenched donuts….and then proceeded to wake up in the middle of the night to release said goods into the porcelain throne. That was fun. Not really. Yet thankfully I had read GUT: The inside story to our body’s most underrated organ. So during my body’s rejection of intense sweetness, I was able to observe the scientific process of throwing up. Did you know the salivation you experience before you spew is to create a protection for your teeth from the bile? Who knew!

MORAL OF THE STORY #1: I won’t tell you “don’t do this, don’t do that”, because I don’t want you to pull a Jaime vs. Loukoumades episode. But I will suggest amazing foods, practices, movements, adjustments to navigate your lifestyle with sustainable health.

MORAL OF THE STORY #2: Be curious. Ask questions. If you hear something is healthy but don’t know why, find out. Keep your Curious Inquisitor Cap handy. You deserve to know the truth behind the foods you eat. It is your body, after all.

MORAL OF THE STORY #3: Find sources you trust. The more you can surround yourself with positive, well-rounded and ethical people, places and things, the better. If you’re not sure where to get started, visit my blog page and peruse the category “Resources”. Most of my blogs reference my own trusted resources.

The infamous Loukamades from Sifnos, Greece.

The infamous Loukamades from Sifnos, Greece.

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