My 5 Essentials for Finding a Zen Meditation Groove

My 5 Essentials for Finding a Zen Meditation Groove

Since I started meditating about a year ago, I’ve found that having a small area in my home or bedroom dedicated to my meditation practice really helps me to get into a zen groove and stay committed to sitting in meditation day after day.

For me, meditation can be like exercising in that sometimes it’s hard to bring myself to do it, but when I finally do I never regret it. Below are a couple of the tools I use to enhance my experience and motivate myself:


1. A Great Spot

When you’re choosing a spot in your home to transform into a zen corner, it’s important to pick a place where you’re able to completely relax and be uninterrupted by roommates or family – I suggest picking a low-traffic room rather than common areas like living and dining rooms.

Another thing to look for is natural lighting. I have found that natural light is the best form of lighting for meditating because it is calm and peaceful in comparison to harsh overhead lights.

Don’t be discouraged if you live in small quarters or have roommates, my meditation corner is simply a corner in my bedroom! The most important thing is to find a spot where you’re able to relax and be uninterrupted for the duration of your meditation – all the rest is just bonus!

2. Aromatherapy

One of the ways I set the scene for myself before meditation is by lighting a candle and turning on my essential oil diffuser.

I encourage you to shop around and find the scent that makes you feel most at peace and cleansed, however some of the most popular essential oils for meditation include sandalwood, lavender, eucalyptus, frankincense, ylang-ylang, and clary.

My favorite place to purchase these are Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Amazon.com because they have fun varieties and oil blend bundles for lower prices!

3. A Comfortable Seat

The number one thing on my wish list right now is one of those meditation pillows… but for now I just sit on a yoga block.

Some people prefer sitting on the ground, however I find that sitting on the edge of a folded yoga mat or a block helps me sit up straighter!

4. Relaxing Music

During my meditations I like to have some background music to help me stay in the moment. Since I’m so easily distracted, it’s extremely important that the music has no vocals.

I find my meditation music by simply searching “meditation music” or “sound healing” in Spotify and then listening to the most popular playlists (Kim Kardashian actually has a pretty good one)! You could also search for meditation music in YouTube, Pandora, or whatever music platform you prefer.

Another option if you’re just beginning to find your meditation groove is guided meditations. I enjoy guided meditations when I am struggling with or working through something, and even when I am just feeling foggy or unable to focus.

Some of my favorite resources for guided meditation include YouTube, YogaGlo, Yoga Journal, and the apps Calm, and HeadSpace.

5. Extras

There are many different things that can help you to connect, ground, or manifest when you’re meditating. Some of my favorite include holding a charged and programmed crystal in the palm of my hand, cleansing my and my home’s energy using a sage smudge stick, rubbing an essential oil between the palms of my hand, utilizing mudras (sort of like yoga poses with your hands!), being near a couple plants, and a few others!

Adding in extras like these to your meditation practice can help you find a deeper connection when you feel like you need a little something extra. I will definitely write a post about my favorite ways to enhance my meditation practice in the near future!


There are a million other ways to create a blissed out meditation space for yourself, these are simply my favorites! I encourage you to branch out, research, and find the things that make your meditation-station irresistible to you.

Hopefully I’ve provided you with some helpful and practical tips for getting into meditating, stay tuned for my guides to my favorite extras!

xoxo

 

Live Whole like Rupi

Live Whole like Rupi

Happy February!

I wanted to share how I’ve been feeling lately. Nobody could phrase it more eloquently than the amazing Rupi Kaur

Living a holistic, whole life is about catering to your mind, body, and spirit.

You can eat all the kale in the world but if you are harboring shame or hate or letting anxiety overcome you than you will not feel whole

This February I want to treat myself with more compassion and love and I hope that you will do the same!

xoxo

My Favorite Wellness Podcasts Of The Month

Podcasts are my favorite form of entertainment these days because I can listen to them whenever I want – in the car, at the gym, or even at home while I’m doing chores around the house.

If you have a smart phone, you have the ability to listen to them for free through the podcast app that comes included in factory settings!

There are so many amazing podcasts on any topic you could imagine, but today I want to share with you my favorite wellness podcasts that I’ve been listening to lately:


1. THE ULTIMATE HEALTH PODCAST

The Ultimate Health Podcast hosted by Dr. Jesse Chapus and fiance Marni Wasserman is my go-to podcast right now

They are extremely knowledgeable health and wellness entrepreneurs who talk about all the most important and trending wellness topics from nutrition, diets, and exercise to self love, healthy relationships, and spirituality. Their podcast features real and in-depth interviews with some of the most influential people in wellness. Some of my favorite episodes are their interviews with  Steven Gundry (all my answers about gluten and lectins were answered in this episode), John Gray on relationships, Dan Buettner on Earths most healthy communities, Jordan Younger on her battle with orthorexia, and so many more.

I encourage you to browse their podcast topics. They share all types of philosophies and opinions from a place of non-judgement and moderation which keeps it fun and informational as well as non-triggering for anyone in any type of recovery.

 

2. SOUL ON FIRE PODCAST By Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

If you’re into the wellness Instagram scene, then you’ve probably heard of Jordan Younger and her TBB empire.

Her podcast called “Soul On Fire” is a must listen if you’re looking to break into the new age spirituality community and learn about things like energy healing, reiki, kundalini yoga, crystals, meditation, mental health, eating for wellness, and more.

It’s also a great listen if you’re an aspiring wellness entrepreneur because Jordan makes sure to get the story behind how all of her guests got where they are in their careers.

This podcast is full of juicy interviews with influencers like Lee Tilghman of LeeFromAmerica, Jeannette Ogden of  ShutTheKaleUp, recipe developer Rachel Mansfield, the amazing Shamen Durek, Courtney Sawn of RealFoodology, and too many more to list.

 

3. THE MINDBODYGREEN PODCAST with MBG Founder & CEO Jason Wachob

Hosted by MBG founder and CEO Jason Wachob, the MindBodyGreen Podcast is another great way to hear the stories of some of the top wellness influencers and business people of the moment.

A wellness guru himself, Wachob knows the best questions to ask of the most distinguished wellness professionals and entrepreneurs. Some of my favorite interviews are with Shamen Durek, Frank Lipman, Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice, and Byron Katie of “The Work” (a must listen for anyone in recovery of any sort – or just anyone who is human).

 

4. BULLETPROOF RADIO with BulletProof Founder Dave Asprey

Dave Asprey is one of the most hardcore health entrepreneurs of today and is overflowing with some awesome biohacks and tips to make every aspect of your life as non-toxic as possible.

The BulletProof Radio Podcast takes the term “detox” to the next level by diving into topics you may never have even considered could be effecting your health. If you enjoy hearing the science details behind things and nerding out about wellness, this is the podcast for you.

This series is so full of helpful nuggets, practical wellness tips that will change your day-to-day life,  wellness research findings, and surprising statistics. I often wish I had a pen and paper handy to take notes while listening to this one!


 

While these are just the wellness podcasts I am addicted to right now, I listen to tons of  different wellness podcasts that I will share as I become more familiar with them.

In addition to wellness podcasts, I also have a guilty pleasure for mystery podcasts, here are some of my favorites: Lore, Criminal, Death Sex + Money, My Favorite Murder, Stuff You Missed in History Class, This American Life, Serial, and Undisclosed

If you have any podcast recommendations for me, please comment or contact me!

xoxo & happy listening

-Anna

 

 

Gluten Free + Vegan + Adaptogenic Blueberry Oat Bars

I have always found that it’s important to have a good breakfast bar recipe up my sleeve.

Whether you want a quick grab and go breakfast or you need to meal prep for traveling, they’re constantly coming in handy.

I decided to take it to the next level and make a regular blueberry breakfast bar gluten free and vegan as well as jam packed with super foods!

One of my favorite components of this recipe is ashwaghanda powder. Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic mushroom commonly used in Eastern healing techniques including Ayurveda. It has countless beneficial properties, it’s known for being anti-inflammatory, reducing stress and anxiety, balancing hormones, and even fighting cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma.

Besides being amazingly nutritious fuel for your bod, these taste great and will last for about a week after you make them!

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YOU’LL NEED

Topping:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (let them thaw a little)
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Almond Butter

Crust:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of old fashioned, gluten free oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter *optional
  • 2 teaspoons ashwaghanda (I use TerraSoul superfoods) *optonal
  • 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior in Vanilla Plus) *optional – can be replaced with extra oats

HOW TO

Topping:

Let frozen blueberries thaw out – once thawed loosely mix in flaxmeal and chia seeds

Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Separate the oats in half – blend one half of the oats on high until they form a flour like powder
  3. Mash bananas
  4. Combine all ingredients until dough forms
  5. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with oil spread crust in a firm layer on the bottom, setting aside about 1/3 cup to put on top
  6. Pour the blueberry topping evenly over the crust and add leftover crust batter on top
  7. Bake 25 minutes – then drizzle melted almond butter over top and sprinkle with more cinnamon
  8. bake another 5 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Let cool and enjoy!

 

These are the perfect treat for a quick blast of energy on-the-go or in the morning. The first time I made them was before a quick camping trip and they were a great, healthy alternative for granola bars or breakfast muffins.

There are many ways you can personalize these as well, for instance you could add coconut to the topping or replace the blueberries with raspberries!

xoxo

-Anna

Eat Like a Mermaid with This Smoothie Bowl

Eat like a mermaid, feel like a mermaid as I like to say!

Smoothie bowls are probably my favorite way to consume large varieties of super foods. They also look pretty which is half the fun!

Smoothies are perfect for adding things like spirulina, flax meal, adaptogens/mushrooms, collagen, and more because their flavors and textures mask all the powdered superfoods!

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I made this one by simply blending the following ingredients in my nutri bullet:

  • .5 banana
  • a handful of frozen cauliflower
  • two handfuls of spinach
  • a teaspoon of spirulina (by Aspen Naturals)
  • vanilla plant protein powder (by Sun Warrior)
  • a half tablespoon of matcha powder
  • a third teaspoon of ashwaghanda powder (by Terra Soul Superfoods)
  • a half tablespoon of flaxseed meal
  • .2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

if you want to thicken it, just add more ice or frozen cauliflower!

On top, I added coconut/chia granola, coconut flakes, goji berries, chia seeds, shelled hemp seeds, and almond butter!

The best part about smoothie bowls is adding whatever you want on top

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Begin Living Whole With Me.

Some might find it strange that even though it’s one of the most popular topics of the moment, wellness is one of the most loosely defined concepts.

I don’t find it strange at all.

why?

Wellness is a cocktail. each humans wellness formula is like a fingerprint, it’s 100% unique.

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For me wellness is eating a plant based and super-food rich diet, practicing yoga and moving as much as I can, laughing often, meditating most days, indulging when I want to, doing things like

eating the gluten

loving myself

drinking the beer

following my intuition

making mistakes

trying again

but most importantly EVOLVING always

 

my intention is not to sell you on my wellness cocktail, rather to help you cultivate your own.

My life is a constant experiment to see which health and wellness practices better my life, which is why I want to share – so that you can learn from my mistakes and successes

If you’re interested in my services as a wellness coach, please reach out via email