Fruit Bowl of My Dreams

FullSizeRender 21Good Morning Everyone!

I hope you’re all having a relaxing sunday morning. Finals week has finally passed so I can actually just enjoy my sunday morning without having to stress out abFullSizeRender 8out what essay I have to finish which class I  have to cram study for.

Anyway, a few weeks back my family and I visited a farmers market and bought so much fruit we couldn’t even carry it all up the stairs. we tried to eat most of it during the week before it started to spoil but we had so much, we couldn’t eat it all fast enou
gh. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs!

I was thinking, how are we going to eat all of this fruit without wasting it?? I’ve had too many smoothies one week I couldn’t possibly add another. So I began slicing the fruit and jus decided to use the melons as fruit bowls! I added different fruits to the bowls and just handed a melon to each of my famFullSizeRender 12ily members, they were delighted and a little surprised with the amount of fruit that was still left over.

Needless to say, we mana
ged to eat the rest of the fruit before it all spoiled and we enjoyed every last bite!

~Aja

 

 

Detoxing: What and How

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Hello friends!

This post is mostly just a diary entry I guess. I’ve really been struggling to eat healthy! It all started with my birthday and indulging on some really yummy strawberry cake. I have a weakness for sweets, and being that it was my birthday I felt obligated to indulge in some decedent, sweet, strawberry cake *queue the heart eyes and mouth waters* ANYWAY! Thats when I really messed up. For the next few days following I allowed unhealthy carbs back into my diet and thought nothing of it and made excuses as to why I was having the food. I ate one slice of cake, then the next I had ice cream and donuts, then I had pasta and bread sticks (LIKE 8 of them!), fast forward an entire week and I just finished mindlessly eating an entire loaf of french bread with a cup of hot coffee while trying to finish my final exam essay. That was the wake up call for me. As I looked down and saw all the tiny crumbs on my lap, I knew I had to take action. I mean, even my yoga pants were getting a little tight and I was beginning to feel sluggish at work and my skin was starting to break out again. I had to make a change.

So here I am, on a Sunday night trying desperately to finish my final exam papers, with french bread crumbs in my lap and coffee stains on my notes. I’m attempting to make a plan on how to properly execute this whole “Detox” thing. What exactly is a Detox cleanse? Is it healthy? Which is the best method?

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Detox is typically associated with being a treatment used to rid the body of drugs and/or alcohol, but the same concept is also used to cleanse the body from dietary and environmental toxins. A detoxification diet usually involves the use of herbs and/or specialized diets to flush the toxins out. There are several different types of detoxification diets, all of which are short-term and typically:

  • Contain foods, such as water and high fiber foods that increase urination and bowel movements in order to draw out and eliminate toxins.
  • Minimizes the amount of consumed toxins, such as eating only organic and/or plant-based foods.
  • Place a high emphasis on foods that provide the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body requires for effective detoxification.

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The human body is a marvelously efficient detoxing machine. The skin—your body’s largest organ—provides a barrier to harmful substances. Your airways trap and expel noxious particles, while your intestines screen out parasites and other harmful organisms while allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood. The liver acts as your body’s primary filter, digesting food and ridding the body of toxic substances. Your kidneys also filter out toxins, via your urine. Those organs act in concert with the immune system to keep you well. Healthful eating, sleep, and exercise habits help the machine to run optimally; substandard ones compromise it. But there’s no evidence that a special detox diet or fast can take the place of or supplement what your own body is naturally programmed to do.

It is common for those who have completed a detox diet to have an increase in energy, regular bowel movements, improved concentration, improved digestion and clearer skin. There are pros and cons to almost everything, including a detox diet. One of the most common side effects of a detox diet is headaches, which often occur within the first couple of days after starting the diet. The headaches are usually due to caffeine withdrawal, but gradually decreasing your caffeine intake before starting the diet may help to reduce the headaches. Diarrhea is also a common side effect of a detox diet, which can cause a loss of electrolytes and dehydration. Some people also experience weight loss, fatigue, irritability and skin acne.

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1.Get your fiber!

The more fiber the better. When we eat fiber we stimulate our bowel tract which is one way we can eliminate toxins. Some foods that are high in fiber include apples, flax seeds, beans and legumes, and berries.

2. Drink lots of water!

One study suggests that you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces on a daily basis! For example, if you weigh 120lbs, you should aim to drink 60oz of water a day. Another study suggests that the “8×8″ rule is the best water to track water intake. This method encourages a person to drink eight 8oz glasses of water on a daily basis. The more water you drink on the daily, the easier it will be for your body to filter out and eliminate toxins from your body.

3. Get your sleep!

Evidence suggests that while we sleep, our body is busy repairing our bodies and eliminating toxins that we acquired throughout the day. It’s important to get at least up to 7.5hrs of sleep so that our body has enough time to repair what is needed and to store energy for us to use in the morning.

4. Eat your veggies and fruits!

We’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies, but do we know exactly why? well veggies and fruits are packed with tons of vitamins and healthy minerals that help our bodies stay in tip top shape. For example, citrus is a great detoxifying fruit because it is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C. Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin and also is essential to the formation of collagen, a major building block of our skin. The enzymes found in citrus also burn fat in our body and allow for detoxification!

5. Exercise/Meditate

Exercise and meditation help maintain a healthy body. Exercising helps you sweat, and sweating helps release toxins through your skin. Studies have found trace amounts of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat. Meditation helps you clear your mind and reduce stress. Stress can be as toxic to your health as chemicals. A troubled mind can cause the physical body to function poorly.

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After researching and watching plenty of videos about detoxifying diets, I am ready to take on this endeavor and hope that someone else will be inspired to do so as well. Most diets last for an average of 3-7 days, however I plan to detox for one week straight and then begin to eat clean again. This is my plan, but you can do however many days you feel you need to, just be sure to listen to your body!

Thank you for reading,

~Aja

Matcha Green Tea Latte

Hello Lovelies!

This weeks post is all about my ABSOLUTE favorite drink: Matcha!

I love teas and vegan hot chocolate, but I wanted something a little more frothier to drink while studying or just relaxing. I recently discovered this drink while I was looking for healthy coffee alternatives and just happened to stumble upon it at my favorite restaurants secret Latte menu! This drink immediately became an instant favorite and I drink it almost every day. It is so creamy and so frothy and jam packed with health boosting nutrients, how can you not drink it every chance you get?

What is Matcha?

So what exactly is Matcha? Short Answer: Its a special form of Green tea!

But as Cynthia Sass. MPH, RD from Health.com puts it:

“Matcha literally means ‘powdered tea.’ When you order traditional green teaFullSizeRender 24.jpg components from the leaves get infused into the hot water, then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves, which have been finely powdered and made into a solution.

Unlike traditional green tea, matcha preparation involves covering the tea plants with shade cloths before they’re harvested. This triggers the growth of leaves with better
flavor and texture, which are hand selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.”

Amongst its many health benefits, matcha…

  • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies the body effectively and naturallyIMG_5540 Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins for a healthy immune system
  • Enhances mood, relieves stress and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium (Great for the skin, immune and overall health of our body)
  • Prevents disease (including heart disease, some cancers…)
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

How do I Make a Matcha Latte?

So when I had my first Matcha Latte it was like I died and went to Heaven! Im not even kidding it was THAT good! Granted, it may be a little potent to those who haven’t acquired a taste for green tea, but add a lil more sweeter or plant milk and you’ll be good to go! Below is my favorite way to whip up a sweet lil cup of this delicious drink, its fast, easy and guaranteed to give your day a little boost.

What You’ll Need:

  • Your favorite Mug (I like this one bc its really wide!)
  • 1 cup of plant milk of choice (I like to use Flax milk because it’s a little thicker than other plant milks)
  • 1 tbsp boiling waterIMG_5541.JPEG1 tsp Green Tea Matcha Powder (This is the one I use, but you can buy any one that
  • you’d like. Each one has a unique potency so just experiment with different brands until you find your favorite)
  • 4 drops of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Sweetener of choice (I personally use Agave Nectar but you can natural maple syrup, honey, or even stevia drops)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional: just boosts the immune system and ads a little healthy fat)
  • Matcha bamboo whisk (optional: it makes you feel like a pro! You can use a spoon as an alternative)

Making it:

  1. Boil a small jar of filtered water. You’ll only use about a tablespoon of it, maybe a little more if necessary.IMG_5538.JPEG Bring plant milk to a boil on the stove. Be careful not to over boil it as it will deplete the nutrients from the Matcha if its too hot! Make sure its just warm enough for it to start steaming a little. This usually takes me about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the Matcha Powder, coconut oil, sweetener and vanilla to the bottom of your mug and slowly add boiled water. Whisk together to form a thick paste. Add more or less water to get to desired consistency.
  3. Pour in the warm milk and give it one last whisk.
  4. Add finishing touches (more sweetener, milk, etc.)
  5. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading,I hope you enjoyed this post and your Latte! Stay tuned for a new post every week. Subscribe to my email list so you get notified with every new post!

Until next time,

xoxox

Aja

Spring has Sprung!

Ahh. Nothing like a fresh start!

For me Spring is a time for new beginnings, a clean slate, a rebirth of sorts. Its a time
when everything is coming to life, from the little sprouts underneath your feet while FullSizeRender 9walking along the sidewalk, to the baby birds singing to their mama’s, to the beautiful blooming rose bushes along school yards. It really is a beautiful time in the world that brings so much joy and color, its hard not to smile and breathe in the fresh crisp air!

One of my favorite quotes about spring is from my favorite band Noah and the Whale (below), and its just a beautiful reminder that although we make mistakes, or do things that make us feel like we’re setting ourselves back, or are genuinely unhappy for some reason, we always have a fresh start waiting for us. When the flowers bloom and the trees grow we have a chance for us to also grow and bloom into something magnificent regardless of our past.

It’s the first day of spring
And my life is starting over again
Well the trees grow, the river flows
And its water will wash away my sin […]
Like a cut down tree, I will rise again
I’ll be bigger, and stronger than ever before

-The First Days of Spring

by Noah and the Whale

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Spring is a time to be grateful for all the beauty around you and within you. If life has been hard, take a moment and realize that you can make small changes to make it better. Little things like being grateful for the sun because it gives you life, be grateful for your mom because she loves you unconditionally, be grateful for your body because it protects you. Smile because its a new day, you’re alive and well and you’re strong enough to change your life around!

So this season, take a moment to really breathe in the fresh air, stop to smell the roses, meditate on aspects of yourself/life that you want to improve. Whether it’s something big or small, just gently remind yourself that you need to improve these things in order to achieve a happier and healthy life!

Here are some examples on how to do so:

  • Have a picnic

Grab your favorite picnic basket,a blanket, a few ripe fruits, some infused water and your favorite person and have a day counting clouds and smelling the budding roses while lying under a tall tree at your local park. Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and full of positive vibes!

  • Meditate in Nature

Put on some comfy clothes, grab your mat and some water and go someplace FullSizeRender 21.jpgoutdoors thats relatively quiet. Be mindful of your body and surroundings. Listen to the breeze whistle through the tree tops, feel the suns rays try to hug you as they make their way through the branches. Hear the birds chirping and the flowers blooming excitedly. Feel your body as it fills with positive energy and releases the tension. Think about happy thoughts and what you want to improve.

  • Make yourself a beautiful nutrient dense meal with spring season veggies/fruits

Nothing is better than making a meal jam packed with flavorful ingredients that aren’t only tasty but full of healthy nutrients. Take some time to prepare a meal with lots of spring veggies, protein and healthy fats (like nuts and avocado). Not only will you be happily satiated from the wholesome meal but your body will be very thankful for the clean meal and all its nutrients. Eating healthy wholesome meals not only keep you full for longer periods of time, it feeds your happy chemicals in your brain, helps keep your intestines happy, and allows you to feel more energetic and ready to take on the day.

  • Exercise outdoors

Go for a run at the local park,  or a swim in the pool, a hike up the trail you’ve been FullSizeRender 20meaning to visit, a bike to your friends house, do some yoga on the beach, anything just get moving! Not only
will this allow you to get some vitamin D from the lovely sun, but it will also allow you to clear your mind a little while getting
your body moving. Its been proven that exercise increases t
he happy chemicals in your brain (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins), so get out there sweet pea!

  • Do something Creative

Garden with your grandparents, doodle some flowers as you sip on some lemonade, paint something with bright colors, journal about your day/feelings. By
getting your creative juices flowing, not only are you expressing your feelings and blowing off a little steam, you’re also releasing more happy chemicals that will allow you to be motivated to make positive changes in your life. You’re also practicing those artistic skills of yours, own ’em!

I hope this post helped get you into the spring mood! Stay tuned for more posts to come.

Until next time,

xoxox

Aja

A long awaited change…

Hey guys I’m back and I’m ready to start blogging regularly again!

I took quite a long break from blogging and social media for a while because after being saturated in it day after day, I started to develop a really negative body image and negative thoughts that began to take over my life. I started to fall into a really deep depression and didn’t want to get out of bed, hang out with any of my friends, make art or do anything! I knew I had to do something about it because I was so tired of feeling so sad and helpless!

It was around this time that I really started to go Vegan and start making healthier meals. It would honestly be an understatement if I said Veganism didn’t change my life. I know how cliche that may sound, but let me explain.

After I started cooking my own meals and really began understanding which foods were healthiest for your body and which would fight depression, anxiety, acne, etc. I also started to research into herbal healing and holistic health. I began making my own bath products like candles and bath bombs for aromatherapy, shampoo, face wash, etc. Until I became a full blown hippie and even started making my own makeup, toothpaste and deodorant that eliminated nasty toxins from my body. I know it sounds crazy but after I started taking toxins out of my daily life and started replacing them with natural products I began to feel so much lighter and happier. It was as though my body was releasing all of this negativity and starting to replenish itself with positivity. My body started to thank me for taking care of it and I couldn’t have been happier.

I slowly began to grow a better relationship with my body through my natural approach, but my mental health was still a little out of whack. I felt as though everything I was doing wasn’t worth it at all. I failed to see how far I had come and only looked at the negativity that was still left in my life. Sure I was physically healthy, I ate well, I made natural products, I was saving the poor lil animals, etc. but my mental health was still suffering! One day while I was crying my eyes out because m thoughts were racing with negative thoughts I stumbled across a “Yoga for Depression” Video on youtube and thought, well nothing else has helped so lets try this. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?! I became addicted to yoga!!!!! I cannot even explain what this has done for me! Not only has it allowed me to appreciate myself and the world around me, but it also helped me clear my mind and set myself up for repair.

Here I am, almost 8 months later and I am the happiest I’ve ever been. Thats not to say that I never suffer from negative thoughts or body image issues. Those bad habits still visit me every once in a while, but now I know how to handle myself so much more gently when it does happen. I still have a lot of growing to do before I reach 100% Self Actualization but I’m on my way!

I’m going to recreate this blog to promote positivity, health and happiness. I’m on my own journey to self actualization and in the process I want to help as many people as I can to do the same. I hope you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for another one soon!

 

xoxox

Aja

 

Au Revoir… It’s Time to Explore

A short tale…

I’m a dreamer. I constantly dream of places my heart yearns to visit, I dream of a world where there is only peace and love and the earth is healthy, I dream of my life being bright and filled with joy. Here is a photo set depicting my dream of visiting Paris and the rest of the world.

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Processed with Rookie Cam *side note: everything I’m wearing in this post was thrifted or handed down to me from my mom! I’ve tried my best to link affordable duplicates below!

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Shop the Look

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Black Wide Brimmed Hat

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Cropped Denim Jacket

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Button-Up Skirt

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White Over the Shoulder Top

 

Dilemma of the Century

Dying for My Own Style

In this day and age, everything is so easily accessible. Finding fashion inspiration is at the tips of our fingers; we can scroll for hours through different social media sites in search of something new to inspire us. However, I feel with advancement of technology and the appearance of new websites and social media apps, we sometimes lose who we truly are just to attract followers, go with the flow of fellow bloggers, or just to simply portray ourselves in a certain way.

Processed with Rookie CamAdmittedly, after being on social media for over two years, I’ve noticed that a lot of fashion bloggers and social media accounts all look horrifyingly similar. White backgrounds, a coffee mug, and a pair of leather boots in a clear shot frame.

For a short period of time, I was extremely against these blogs and accounts because I thought they were boring and didn’t have any eye catching content, but at  another point I was completely nspired by these kinds of blogs because of their simplicity, organized content and clear aesthetic; and this was all reflected in my Instagram posts over the years. I then realized that I wasn’t being true to myself. I wanted to portray myself as a clean cut, organized blogger like everyone else; but that’s not who I am!! I love color, odd clothing pieces, messy pictures and taking pictures of whatever I want.

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My Instagram feed in 2016

 

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My Instagram feed in 2015

Sure my blog and social media have changed significantly over the past month/year, because I’ve grown as a person. I used to post overly edited content, just to maintain a certain amount of followers on Instagram because I knew thats what my following found eye-catching. It was hard to truly be myself in fear of losing followers who just followed me for a certain account aesthetic.

SOOOO! After taking a short break from social media, I’ve decided to just recreate myself on media and show everyone who I am! Social media is supposed to be a fun and safe place to show the world who you are and to express yourself in ways that make you smile. I’ve been dying for a style change but have been too afraid to post about it, so here it goes!

October OOTD

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Where to Get the Look

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Dusty Rose Satin Choker

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Striped Cropped Long Sleeve

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My pinafore was thrifted but this is very similar to mine!!!

(and it’s on SALE!)

Denim Pinafore Dress

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Mine are vintage mens shoes but here you can buy them brand new!

Black and White Wing Tip Oxford

 

Thank you for reading!

xoxox

~Aja