10 Things I do first thing in the morning

If you are familiar with The Ahimsa Life you know I am all about keeping Healthy, keeping productive and keeping things fun!

What you may not know is none of this comes natural to me. I can sit with my coffee way too long in the morning, spend much to much time playing with my dogs, scrolling through Instagram or reading. Over the years I have developed routines that work to keep me on track and on top of every thing, which is very important if your goal like me, is to be a work at home entrepreneur. Today I thought I would bring you in to my morning routine.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

1.Start with a purpose Before I even get out of bed I try and Set and intention and or goal for the day. I find that just taking a few minutes to cuddle in with my puppies and think about what I want the day to look like helps me get going first thing.

2. Yoga and Meditation It’s no secret that I am a true believer in the magic yoga and meditation can bring to you life. My daily practice has completely changed my life. I have more clarity, I am a nicer person and my body is finally getting to a place where I might not be too embarrassed to put back on a bikini this summer. Yoga is everything.

3. Drink WATER. On my list of first things first in the morning, water is a must.  Water should be the first thing you drink in the morning, then you can drink your much-needed cup of coffee. Water first thing in the morning helps wake your digestive system up and get everything going softly, not in the kick the door open way coffee does. I usually get up and turn the kettle on while I let my little pooches outside. I make a cup of warm lemon water and join them outside. It is one of the my favorite times of the day. Sipping on my warm lemon water watching my puppies run around is the best way to get centered and start my day in a happy way.

1. Start one load of laundry. But have a plan to get it into the dryer, set a timer in your kitchen or make a routine of changing it after your shower, whatever you need to do. Just get it done.

3. Empty the dishwasher. It’s like a clean slate. I start my dishwasher and take out my garbage every night before I go to bed. Every night. When I first started working for myself I was surprised how much of my day I spent doing cleaning around the house. Now I make sure I do these things on schedule to free up more time during the day to create. By emptying the dish washer first thing in the morning you will be able to put anything you dirty all day directly in, bypassing the sink and keeping your home tidy and you on track. For me it’s easy to get distracted by a messy house. Keeping it neat helps me stay in my office working.

4. Take a peak at your planner for the week. knowing what you have going on all week makes it easier to stay on track. I use my planner religiously. Love writing things down and crossing them off my list. Some times by looking over my planner I am able to squeeze a few things that were planned later in the week and group them together, my goal is always to have a free Friday, it does not always work, but if I can I try and get everything done M-Th, leaving my Friday for spending time with my family, a much needed writing day, or getting some of the projects done that I have not been able to knock off my list.

5. Know what you are having for dinner. Meal planning is very important to me. If you follow this blog you know I have an IBD, and food really is the best medicine. Planning ahead is also important to stick to your budget and maintaining a lower stress level at home. When you know what you’re having for dinner in the morning, you can prep the ingredients early in the day and won’t be standing in front of the pantry and fridge while your family is begging for food.

6.Get dressed. This sounds silly, I know.  But remember I work from home, it would be pretty easy to write all day in my pajamas. It’s amazing the difference in what I get done when I am dressed and ready to tackle the day as opposed to the days when the opposite is true. If I am going to the gym or the yoga studio I get dressed for that. Just being dressed and ready for the day makes me feel so much  more motivated.

7. Brain dump. I had never heard of a brain dump before a few years ago. One of my friends gave me a planner that had these cute little areas specifically for brain dumps and they have changed my life. Here is how you do it. Take out a piece of paper (or find a space in your planner or that adorable notebook you have been dying to use) and write a list, write everything that you know you need to get done, future events, things that you want to do, every thought that comes to mind, write it down. You don’t have to write it in any kind of order, just write down everything. It’s amazing how much brain capacity we take up just trying to remember everything. Once it’s written down, you can visualize what needs to happen and make your to-do list.

8. After your brain dump, write your to-do list for the day. After you write it down, prioritize those items. What absolutely has to happen? What could be done tomorrow if things happen and toss you off course? I take those items and distribute them on different days in my planner. In my planner I also have an ongoing list of things I can tackle in any free time that I have been able to make happen that week.

And that’s it! What are the things you do first thing in the morning to start your day off right?

Juice of the Week – Green Energy Drink

 

Everyone needs a boost of energy sometimes, and this little nutrition packed baby will give you all the boost you need to handle any thing life throws your way.

Spinach and Honeydew are full of vitamin C which helps you absorb all the good iron from the Spinach. This juice is easy to make and tastes amazing, I guarantee it will become one of your favorites you make time and time again.

 

Green Energy Drink

4 cups Spinach

2 Kiwis

2 cups Honeydew cubed

1 cup green grapes

 

Blend or run through your juicer, that’s it! SO easy!!

 

Juice of the Week – Ginger tummy tamer

This recipe is easy to whip up on those days when you are not feeling your best.

Pineapple is loaded with amazing enzymes that help with inflammation, they also help boost digestion.

Vitamins A, C, E and K as some of the nutrients found in papaya. The fruit is also a rich source of folate, potassium, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and dietary fiber.

Ginger- we are all familiar with mom bringing us a ginger ale when we were sick, but whole Ginger is much better for you. Ginger reduces inflammation in a similar way to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It also can help with motion sickness and morning sickness.

Over the years of battling my IBD I have tried many things. Here is my favorite safe nutritious way to clam any upset stomach.

Ginger Tummy Tamer

3 cups pineapple cut into cubes

2 cups Papaya cut into cubes

2 inch piece of Ginger

 

Make sure you wash all your ingredients prior to prepping them for this recipe. Toss them in your blender till smooth and enjoy!

Tip – I like to freeze a baggie full of the ingredients so its easy to pull out and blend when I need it, you can thaw it out as much or as little as you like, blending frozen make a great slushy texture.

 

Juice of the week! Beets for Energy!

I love Beets and am always looking for another way to get them in my diet, juice is a great way.

Beets have a wide range of health benefits. They are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus! They are very low in calories and have no cholesterol. The nitrates in beets can help improve athletic performance.

 

 

Beet fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol). The fiber in beets also works to strip excess LDL cholesterol from the walls and help to eliminate it from the body quickly.

Now that you have read all about how great beets are for you here is an easy way to add them to your diet, my Juice of the week, Beets for Energy!

Ingredients –

1 beet

3 leaves Swiss Chard

1  seeded red chili

2 plum tomatoes

 

Wash all produce thoroughly. Add to your juicer and enjoy!

 

 

Healthy Substitutes for Baking

I LOVE baked goods, but they are not always the healthiest snack or after dinner treat.

These quick swaps will make your baking an option you wont feel guilty about!

Avocado – I LOVE Avocados and I tend to eat at least one each day! Living in Sunny California that’s easy to do, lucky us, we have Avocados Year round!!  Mash some into your baked goods instead of using oil or shortening for healthy non saturated source of fats. Making avocados a healthy baking substitutes.

Beets – are a great way to add sweetness and color to brownies and red velvet cake. I don’t know about you but I love beets and I never seem to have enough recipes to use them in. Make sure they are fresh and shred them finely before adding.

Kabocha Squash – high in beta carotene kabocha squash will add sweetness and much needed moisture to muffins and cakes. To use De-seed and steam, and leave the skin on, its packed with nutrition!

Bonus – kabocha squash is a great substitute for pumpkin in your seasonal pies. I like to incorporate it in WITH my pumpkin for an added nutritional punch.

Pumpkin – pure canned pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin pie filling!) is full of antioxidants, beta carotene and fiber. Added to cakes, cookies and muffins they add moisture, a beautiful flavor and sweetness.

Sweet Potato (or Yams!) – This stuff is great in breads and you can replace most of the sugar and shortening with it! Beta carotene rich, just steam and puree before you add to your favorite bread, cookie, pie and cake recipes.

Zucchini – with TONS of vitamin C Zucchini is great to add moisture to breads, cakes and cookies. Grate is as fine as you can and your family will never even know its there!

What substitutions do you use?

 

 

 

My Peloton Bike has arrived!

theahimsabike

Repost from 2015 when I got my Peloton bike. 2017 update – I still love it! They update constantly and its a great work out!

 

Yes, I love yoga, and try to practice every day. But, I am a sucker for a nice sweaty spin class. I have done classes at my local gym or YMCA, but I don’t really have a studio close by. When ever I travel to a city that has a SoulCycle I book my classes before I even leave for the airport. At $32 per class, plus shoe rental (if you do not own a pair) its pretty expensive! and not convenient at all. Whats a girl to do?

Enter Peloton. I spotted their add on Pintrest and clicked over. I fell in love. A spin class in my own home. I could not get my credit card out of my purse fast enough. But is it worth it? I have had my bike for just under a week, here is what I think…

First off if you have not heard of SoulCycle or Peloton this is the scoop, imagine if you where at church, an amazing church where the entire congregation was totally into the sermon, and that church was in the hottest club, amazing music, fantastic lighting and every one was moving in sync. That church club  also got you into amazing shape and you were dying to become a member and wanted to worship there every day. That’s how a great spin class feels, and SoulCycle/Peloton has mastered it.

Most of these studios are in major cities, so if you live in suburb, or in a city hat was not blessed enough to be chosen you are pretty much out of luck. Peloton has created a spin bike, with a monitor attached where you can watch a library of classes, or the best part, join in live classes at their NYC location. You can stream the live classes as they happen or do a ride any time from their library which includes spin classes and long distance lance Armstrong kind of rides.

 

The only thing the video does not capture is the excitement of the rides, it can be really high energy and lots of fun! Below id some pros and cons.

Pros –

I don’t have to drive forever to find a class. I can join my favorite teachers and classes live, or ride any time of day.

Bike cleats- you clip in, hard to get used to if you have never done it before, but once you have other bikes do not make sense.

Its fun! Whether you want a pop diva themed class or a chill ride, they have it. The music really is amazing and keeps me going!

Endless choices. The computer on the bike came pre loaded with tons classes, and they are releasing more all the time. if you add that with the streaming classes, you can rise a different class every day for over a year.

Your shipping fee includes set up! The bike was delivered via UPS freight and Peloton arranged to have it put together and set up, I literally could start a ride as soon as the delivery guys left.

Cons –

Its expensive the bike is $1995, plus a monthly subscription ($39) for streaming. But for us, its lower then a gym membership, or paying for a spin class 3x per week. And I share with my hubby and my daughter, so per use it makes sense for me.

Cleats – you need to purchase spin shoes. Peloton gave me a 20% discount on any accessories, I took advantage of that, but you can buy them on amazon as well. If you have never bought bike shoes before try them on! Or read the sizing carefully, my normal size was way too tight.

Space – I am lucky enough to have a fitness centric family, so we all were happy to make our loft into a home gym, if you don’t have a designated room you are going to need space for the bike. You have to allow space to stand next to the bike as well, each session ends with stretching, in studios a lot of people leave at this point, don’t do it, its so rewarding after a long ride, and adds only about 5 minutes.

Wait time. It took over a week after I ordered it.  I was told it would be 4 days. To be fair she said 4 day shipping, which to me was after I paid, but to them, the clock didn’t start ticking until the order was “processed” which meant from the day I ordered it to delivery was 13 days including weekend.

So far I am in love, and the bike is getting a lot of use. I will update and give you more details on riding at home, and pics soon!

♥Pamela

Easy ways to burn more calories every day

EASY WAYS TO

If you read my post on Fitness Trackers you know I love my Fitbit. Wearing a fitness tracker really lets you know how much you are NOT moving! I was pretty surprised to find some long periods of complete inactivity. Since then, I have really made an effort to increase how much I move every day. Its amazing how many calories you can burn during the day with out hitting a gym. Here are some simple ways to break up those sustained sitting periods at work and home:

  • Take phone calls standing up. If the phone rings, stand up! You will automatically find your self walking around.
  • Rather than email office colleagues, walk to their desks to communicate with them. On that note, don’t yell for your kids, walk to their rooms, or where ever they are to talk to them.
  • Create a standing workstation. My husband just changed over his work and home offices to this standing desk, it lowers so he can sit at it too, if needed, but its really amazing how many steps he has added not changing any thing about his routine.
  • Wear a pedometer or fitness tracker to encourage taking steps. I check on mine through out the day, reach for at least 10,000 steps.
  • Set a timer on your home computer or phone to alert you to get up every thirty to forty minutes and break up sitting with short bursts of activity, like running to the mailbox.
  • Have a dog? Try and increase you walks by 10 minutes, or take time to toss a ball in the yard, your puppy will love you for it!

Bonus tip – At home, stop multi tasking! Are you setting things on the stairs to bring up the next time you head that way? Stop, bring it up right then and there. I have found I doubled the amount of flights I climb each day just by doing that.

How do you add more activity in your day?

♥Pamela

Olive’s Favorite Pumpkin Treats

Did someone

 

Olive is my Jack Russel Terrier, she is arguably the sweetest dog in the world. Any one who knows me or follows me on Social Media knows that my dog Olive is my life!

Just like I strive to live a healthy balanced life, I try to get her lots of activity and feed her natural healthy foods too. Which includes making her healthy nutritious foods. If you have a dog, take a peak at any label for the treats you have in the house, make sure you are not filling those precious bellies with chemicals and preservatives. When I have a long lazy weekend I like to make her some home made treats, they are much healthier for her, clean ingredients, and they save great.

Olive’s favorite Pumpkin Treats

1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned (Do NOT use pie filling)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time just until dough is no longer sticky.

3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4″ thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough, then place on the prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

♥Pamela

 

Kale Chips, Nice and Spicy!

Kale Chips

Every one love Kale chips! They have been a favorite in our house for a while. Normally, my go to recipe is to just add a little Olive Oil and some Himalayan Pink Salt, bake and yum!

Of course I have seen many recipes online. I make sure I save them and swear I will give them a try. But when it comes to making a batch, I always think, if its not broken, don’t fix it and make my old stand by recipe.  That was until now.

A few weeks ago I dragged my hubby to Las Vegas to see Elton John. (He was AH-MAZ-ING!) I seem to be in Vegas all the time work, and since its a quick flight, the hubby goes with a lot. Las Vegas is unbelievably easy to eat Vegan in. We have become pros on the best places at eat and drink in Sin City. This trip we went to the Canyon Ranch Spa in The Palazzo. The spa is the best, and they also have a small restaurant and bar offering some amazing healthy options. We had just stopped by for a quick bite, and chose the Spicy Kale chips to tide us over till dinner. Which is what inspired this recipe.

The Canyon Ranch chips, were dehydrated,  my normal go to chips are baked, but I loved how crunchy they were, with out all the extra oil. They added a chili powder mix of seasonings which gave it a great kick! It came with a ranch dip, which I avoided. Once home I set out to re create these spicy little numbers, and dug out my dehydrator. Here is my home version, I like it spicy, so I added a little extra heat, use less seasoning if you don’t!


 

Nice and Spicy kale Chips

1 bunch Kale ( I prefer curly for chips, all those nooks and crannies really hold on to the seasoning) I have used dinosaur kale before and it turned out well.

2 Tbsp Saint Lucifer seasoning (Thank you Hubby for introducing this to me!)

2 Tbsp  Olive oil ( I love Calivirgin. It is simply my favorite EVOO. It’s local to me, but they have a great Olive oil club you can join even if you live far away)

That’s it!!

I am using a dehydrator for this recipe,- if you don’t have a dehydrator, bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until crispy, and add a little more oil.  Check on it from time to time since oven temps vary.

1)Rip apart and wash kale very well! Leaving out the hard stalks and veins. Its really important that you take the time to wash thoroughly! I use a fruit and veg wash to make sure I get every thing off and always buy organic.

2) Dry kale, if you want it crispy this is a MUST. I use a salad spinner, if you do not have one just pat between paper towels until dry.

3) In a large bowl add kale, and oil and use hands to mix it through, making sure oil is evenly disbursed.

4) if using a dehydrator, lay out kale on trays evenly, not letting ends touch. you do not  have to leave that much room, they will shrink. I am currently using a round dehydrator, and  I use about 5 trays for 1 bunch.

If you are baking lay out your kale evenly with out touching on a cookie sheet. When baking not letting the sides touch is even more important for crispy chips.

5) Sprinkle with Lucifer seasoning, using more or less based on how hot you like it!

6) Sit back and let your dehydrator do its thing! Although you can eat them any time, and I do, as I check them, I like mine to be as crispy as possible, which equals about 4 hours in the dehydrator.

Enjoy!

♥Pamela

 

Travel beauty tips from a road warrior!

Travel Beauty tips from a road warrior

Not too long ago, I traveled extensively for work, flying to different states a few times a month. Since I worked in the beauty industry I was expected to show up looking just like I walked out of the pages of a fashion magazine, which can be difficult when you are on 5 hour flight from California to New York, or only got 4 hours of sleep on your uncomfortable hotel bed.

I have developed a few great tips over my years of traveling, on how to not look so jet lagged and take care of your self in flight.

Tip #1 – Do not travel in make up. Yes, I know. But its important. Your just going to read your kindle or watch a movie any way, no need to have a full face of make up on. The air in the plane tends to make your skin dry and dehydrated, adding layers of foundation and powders will only make that worse. I pack a little bag of Josie Maran Bear Naked cleansing wipes to make sure I have a clean face on the flight. You can also use them to freshen up mid flight, which is super important on long overseas travel.

Bonus Tip! Use those cleansing wipes to wash down the arm rests and tray prior to use. Believe me it helps get rid of all those germs, so you don’t get sick.

Tip #2- Moisturize! – Makes sense after tip #1 right? I take it to the next level by using my night cream no matter what time of day it is, instead of a daily moisturizer. The air is so dry, you will need the added little extras and thickness of a night cream.

Tip #3 –Buy a water before you get on the plane and ask for another when the beverage service starts. You can not get enough water on the flight, make sure you drink at least 8 oz before you land.

Tip #4 -Speaking of drinking NO alcohol! It dehydrates you, so all the tips above would be for nothing is you ask for that Chardonnay. Remember dehydrated skin = wrinkles.

Tip #5 – After you land break out one of your wipes, or get the hotel asap, what ever you do, wash your face as soon as you can. That plane was full of germs and recirculated air, lets get all of the above off your skin as soon as humanly possible.

Tip #6 – First night at the hotel – I always apply a moisture mask. You can do it as you unpack, or as you are relaxing or prepping for the next day. Trust me this one will make a difference.

Have you developed and great Travel Beauty tips?

P