Daily Meditation: Breathe

Today’s meditation is a really intense one. If you can really focus on this mediation, and let yourself be open to it, your body is going to freak out(in a good way). Extreme sensation and extreme calmness will wash over you.

It was shared with me by my roommate, Cora, who teaches yoga and has been practicing for many years. This particular mediation  is derived from Kundalini yoga, which is referred to as the “Yoga of Awareness”.  It is a really dynamic form of yoga that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.

“The kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world. … It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently.”
                -Yogi Bhajan, from Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power

I really hope you enjoy this meditation; it’s a special one.

http://www.driveplayer.com/#fileIds=0BxvvssnimcROWi1CQWdWM1NqTHM&userId=114182942940161131694

 

Namaste

 

 

 

 

Photo Cred:http://secretdust.tumblr.com/post/15122838229

 

 

 

Yogurt

I like yogurt. I like it a lot.

It’s delicious.

Like a lot of people, I have mad stomach issues.  I’m always complaining; always trying to find fixes for it. It’s come to the point where people who know me well enough just know this as a trait of mine. “Oh, Lauren? Yeah I know her. She’s got mad stomach issues”. Weird?

Most people either create stomach issues and slowly wear down their stomach lining,or exacerbate existing conditions with too much of these tricky substances:

Coffee

Soda

Processed Sugar

Alcohol

Medications

Stress and Anxiety(Yes, it’s a self abusive substance!)

Fried Foods

Foods Full of Chemicals

What the hell are we doing to ourselves?

Bad, bad things.

But back to the point of this post. Yogurt. I like it a lot. Regular yogurt, Greek Yogurt, Frozen Yogurt, etc. All kinds of yogurt. I like it because it’s a real tummy-soothing food. And the right kinds of yogurt are full of probiotics, which help to keep your body in balance.

The challenge is  finding a healthy yogurt that isn’t full of aspartame, sucralose, high fructose corn syrup, etc. This is all artificial crap that ruins the point of yogurt.

I found one today at Whole Foods that is thick, creamy, delicious, nutritious, etc. etc. SO GOOD; and has the texture of Greek yogurt without the bitterness that some people dislike. Full of protein, Low in Natural Sugar.

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When you’re eating foods that are naturally healthful…that don’t use the words “Diet” or “Lite” or “Skinny” in the title, you can feel good about it. Just as a general note…if you see those words on your food packaging, run far far away. They mean chemicals. And they’re worse for you. But more about that later.

 

Eating healthy yogurts like the one above can help with your stomach ailments.

Also….

Go to yoga.

It will balance out your insides. You will notice really early on in your practice how your general health starts to improve and your insides feel noticeably better. If you’re gonna put bad things in your body, at least get rid of them. Your body will start to reject chemicals and harmful substances once its found a healthful state through yoga, and you will notice how your diet changes for the better.

But that is up for you to discover!

In the meantime…yogurt.

 

Namaste

 

 

 

 

Photo cred: http://askville.amazon.com/cows-originally/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2193692

 

Daily Dedication: Brandon

Today’s daily dedication goes to my friend Brandon.

It’s his 31st Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU STUD.

This is Brandon at The Malibu Café at Calamingos Ranch. We were celebrating the day he finished the first completed draft of his script.(Which is a huge deal in writer world)

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He was my first neighbor in Los Angeles, and is one the nicest people I’ve ever met.

He takes care of me like I’m his family…doing things like picking me up from the hospital and taking me to CVS to pick up my prescription when I’m high as a kite and have a face full of bloody gauze(sorry for the vivid imagery).

He is also an absurdly talented writer and director. He’s got the kind of passion and drive that everyone pursuing a creative career should possess.

Thanks for being the older brother I never had and teaching me so much. So much love for you!

 

Namaste

Real Food Daily

Tonight my Friend Rio and I went to Real Food Daily on Santa Monica Blvd.

It’s an amazing  restaurant that specializes in Organic Vegan cuisine; everything is plant-based.

Now, I’m not trying to go vegan…but If I was, this restaurant would be the reason.

Check out their site: http://www.realfood.com/about

Everything is so fresh and unbelievably delicious…even your Southern mother would love it.

Here’s a breakdown of our meal:

Entrée: Caribbean Quesadillas

Island coconut lentil purée, spinach, caramelized onions, pepperjack cheese, corn tortilla with coconut cilantro cashew crème, mango salsa, guacamole, grilled plantains.

….These quesadillas are full of flavor and color and life and texture and have literally EVERY essential quality a fulfilling dish should have. It’s gooey in all the right ways and crispy enough to hold it all together.

I actually tried this for the first time last week and dreamt about it in my sleep last night, which brought me back to this little piece of paradise.

Wins the award for: DREAM FOOD.

Here is a picture:

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(I didn’t personally take this picture because I was too busy eating it)

Post Dinner-

Dessert 1: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp(gluten free)

Topped with a buckwheat walnut streusel and vanilla coconut ice cream.

Wins the award for: THERE’S FRUIT IN MY DESSERT SO IT MUST BE GOOD FOR ME HOLY CRAP THIS IS SO GOOD.

This Is Rio Eating it:

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AND

Dessert 2:Peanut Butter chocolate milkshake

Made with organic coconut ice cream and hemp milk

Wins the Award for: THE BEST MILKSHAKE I’VE EVER HAD IT MY LIFE,WAIT IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING TO ME?

…I’m not a liar. I actually feel bad for everyone on this earth who hasn’t been blessed with the opportunity to try this milkshake. If you are ever in Los Angeles, I will personally house, clothe, and feed you so that you can enjoy this piece of bliss.

This is me demolishing this piece of heaven on earth:

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Now,  I know what you’re thinking… “blah blah blah, Shut up Lauren, we get it!!” Or something along those lines.

You have to be easy on me; I’m a 21 year old white girl who grew up in suburbia.

I swear…I’m not trying to rub it in your face that I got to eat all this amazing food. I swear.

I’m just passing on a message from the food Gods:

Food from the Earth is beautiful.

Everything I ate tonight was vegan, which means that it contains NO meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or dairy.

I used to question the veganism thing….but I’m here to tell you now not to knock it before you try it.

If I would have eaten this same exact meal with full fledged cheese, cream, meat, and milk…I would have left feeling heavy and regretful.  No, honestly, I probably would have either thrown up or fallen into a deep coma.

Open your mind to the wonderful opportunities that plant-based cuisine has to offer. I had someone say to me the other day that “Food is the Future”. And it is. We are so lucky to live in a time where people are more knowledgeable about the things they are putting into their bodies…and we have the power to do with this knowledge what we want.

Start by subbing out some of the foods in your life with ingredients made from nuts, seeds, and plants. It’s amazing what you can create with these fresh and simple ingredients.

 

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo cred: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/4039-real-food-daily-santa-monica

Daily Dedication: Casey

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My first daily dedication  goes out to my best friend Casey. She’s the hummus to my green bean, the chocolate chips to my yogurt, the BBQ sauce to my chicken. If you don’t like these references get on it!!! This shit is good.

I Love this woman!

If I was stranded on an island and there just happened to be a genie who could grant me one wish and I wished for a  telephone that had one call, I would call her. Even if she couldn’t save my ass, I’d have to tell her about how this island reminded me of Bermuda, one of the most beautiful places on Earth…but I’m biased and I also haven’t seen that much of the Earth yet.

Here’s Us in Bermuda.We were very hungover (this is when I used to be way more fun by my sister’s standards, and drank alcohol given to me by local boys).

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Thanks for loving me from every time zone and loving me even more as I change.

 

 

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

Daily Meditation: Happiness

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This Morning’s mantra was dedicated to happiness.

You can find it on Spotify, titled Day 13:Happiness by Deva Primal.

“May all beings be happy. May all my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to the happiness of all beings.”

  

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by:https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/541482_10151319990922285_1151236302_n.jpg

http://500px.com/photo/7402052/fearless-by-isac-goulart

Getting to the Root

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I found this great article on what we like to call  “emotional eating”; a topic that hits home.

Unfortunately, once this bad habit is developed it is SUPER TRICKY to let go of.

This article is so spot on…and yes, it’s from Yoga Journal. It is full of some honest and motivating insight. I promise you it’s well worth the read.

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/lifestyle/choice-eats/

Below is one of my favorite parts from the article…

“A food’s flavor, texture, and aroma can also provoke intense emotional, physical, and mental responses, and unconsciously dictate your behavior. Walking past a bakery whose yeasty loaves have just come out of the oven can make you salivate at the thought of a thick, steaming slice of bread slathered with butter, and then cause you anxiety as you consider how quickly that smear of butter goes to your hips. In an instant, you’ve cycled from joy to dread. Instead of considering your hunger level or your body’s need for nutrients, you’ve allowed unconscious thought patterns to dictate whether you reach for a loaf. Rather than be awake to the vivid reality of the food in front of you, and of your hunger in any moment, you instead evaluate the food according to your own fears or society’s abstract notions about carbohydrates or fats.

It sheds light on the sad reality that is the food shaming culture we have created for ourselves. We are all brainwashed!!! And it’s silly. Food is supposed to feed us because we were created to eat and enjoy it and to be nourished. But instead we have turned eating into a Psychological Problem.

Stressed? Eat.

Sad? Eat.

Confused? Eat.

Angry? Eat.

Anxious? Eat.

Aren’t you full already? This bad habit is just bringing negative energy into your life.

I speak from personal experience. I used to eat all my feelings right up like a snake swallows a whole rabbit without thought. Like most people, I had a lot of stuff going on in my brain that I didn’t know how to deal with. So I created this terrible habit out of pain and confusion and anxiety. Whether I was trying to lose weight or just maintain weight or “be hot”, the things I ate CONSUMED my thoughts. How many minutes, hours, days did I waste thinking about whether or not something was going to make me “fat”? If I was honest with myself, it’s an astronomical number that I would be ashamed to admit. I was screaming inside. I don’t want to say that I regret these times, because ultimately they led me to this wonderful blessing of healing;but, when I think about all the precious time in my life that I wasted thinking these horribly self-loathing and rather shallow thoughts, I want to go back in time and scream at the top of my lungs to this little girl that was me. I could’ve spent all these hours of beautiful life doing something to make me a smarter, healthier, and drastically cooler person…but instead I chose to spend them thinking about myself in a destructive way.

Which brings me to the root of this article…

Find your Root!

Why do you “emotionally eat?”

Find your truth and work it out. Go to therapy, talk it out. Go to Yoga; Stretch it out; stretch out all the bad experiences that sit in your body. I had a yoga instructor who said that our bodies are like a timeline of our experiences. The negative experiences get stuck inside of you, sitting in your hips, your thighs, your shoulders, your heart. The next thing you know, you’re stuck with this bad habit that you thought would help you deal with your problems(in this case, “emotional eating”).

If you can open yourself up and get to your root, maybe you can get yourself to a healthy place where your mind is calm and your insides are peaceful and you can finally know the truth..which is that you are love. You are enough. And then maybe you won’t want to keep destroying yourself, because who destroys something they love that much?

 

Food is beautiful. Eat it mindfully, happily, healthily, wonderfully.

Namaste.