Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY : CANDIDA CLEANSE

I started a detox 3 weeks ago and it has been going way better than I expected. I used a product called CandiGone to aid the cleansing process and kept my diet strict by not consuming any wheat, dairy, sugar (not even fruit), alcohol, yeast or caffeine. First two days were the worst and I had terrible sugar cravings, but then I bought some Granny Smith apples (only acceptable fruit) and raw almond butter and that's been my fix for it. 

Surprisingly I didn't miss pasta or bread almost at all during this time. Also, I was easily able to go through the days at work without any caffeine and actually had way more energy than on a regular, caffeine-filled day. Instead of coffee I enjoyed some herbal teas (peppermint) without sugar. 
Granny Smith apples and raw almond butter for sugar cravings
First couple of days after starting the cleanse I experienced constipation (maybe because of the strong herbs), my skin started breaking out a lot (especially chin area) and I had quite serious sugar cravings. I did hot vinyasa yoga almost daily, had just one day each week for rest and that aided the cleansing process. After every yoga class my skin seemed clearer and in couple of days it was back to normal. Also, I became very regular and felt overall much lighter and energetic. 
Kale salad with quinoa and black beans
This is a tough diet if you don't know your way around the kitchen, meaning cook all your food from scratch daily. Because as it turns out, everything has sugar, yeast, whey or wheat. It's extremely hard to find sauces, bread or even gluten-free crackers that don't have one of those ingredients. 
What is Candida? (Read about it in Finnish here)

Candida albicans is the most common digestive yeast and is present in small amounts in most people. When Candida growth leads to an imbalance of intestinal flora, a Candida cleanse can be helpful to promote intestinal balance. 
What is CandiGone?

CandiGONE is a blend of natural herbs and ingredients that have been traditionally used to help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora. This 2-part formula includes vegetable capsules and a tincture for a comprehensive Candida cleansing experience.
What to eat during candida cleanse?
BREAKFAST: 

YES Sprouted grain breads: (millet, quinoa, flax made with baking soda) 
Steel cut oats (for oatmeal) 
Fruit: Granny Smith apples, lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberries 
Almond or cashew butter 
Legumes: includes hummus, all beans
Eggs (natural/organic are best), eat sparingly – a few times a week 

NO Wheat grains, wheat products 
Fruit juices; fermented beverages such as ciders 
All other fruit, fresh or dried 
Alcoholic beverages, sodas, coffee 
Milk: includes milk products, sour cream, buttermilk, cheeses Peanuts, pistachios 

SNACK IDEAS: 

YES Herbal teas (ex. chamomile, peppermint) 
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (soaked overnight, preferably raw) Carrot sticks, celery sticks 
Almonds (preferably raw), almond butter 
Unbuttered fresh-popped popcorn 
All fresh vegetables (raw or lightly steamed) 
Green vegetable juices (with lemon, Granny Smith apples to taste) 

NO Fruit or fruit juices 
Caffeinated teas 
Nuts (nuts in general are acidic and hard to digest) 
Peanuts, peanut butter 
Microwave popcorn (typically contains harmful hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils) 
Carrot juice, beet juice, tomato juice, tomatoes 
Canned vegetables, mushrooms 

FOODS (GENERAL): 

YES Yeast-free grains: millet, quinoa, basmati rice, amaranth, brown rice, khorasan wheat, teff, buckwheat, rye. 
Red-skinned potatoes (sparingly) 
Olive oil, flaxseed oil (cold-pressed if possible)  
Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk 
Tofu (if tolerated well) 
Rice, soy, almond cheeses 
Goat milk, goat cheeses, goat kefir 
Bragg® Liquid Aminos (in place of soy sauce) 
Raw apple cider vinegar 
Rice flour, rye flour, soy flour 
Beans

NO Wheat, wheat products 
Rolled oats 
Barley 
Semolina pasta 
Yeast-containing foods (ex. breads, pastries) 
White potatoes, russets, yams, sweet potatoes 
Margarine 
Cheese 
Milk 
Artificial sweeteners: (ex. aspartame, Sweet’N Low®) 
Sugars: honey, maltose, raw sugar, date sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, maple sugar, fructose, molasses, lactose, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, galactose, sucrose 
Condiments, sauces, vinegar-containing foods (ex. mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pickles, MSG) 
Tomato sauce (or sauce with tomatoes) 
Packaged/processed foods (including enriched flour products)
 I ate lots and lots of kale salads, veggie stews and soups (mainly lentil and cabbage). I will definitely keep going with this low-sugar and low-gluten diet, because it gives me so much energy. But I'm adding the fruits, because it' summer, and I love fruits. Watermelon, here I come again!
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Monday, July 29, 2013

FIVE FAVES OF THE WEEK

When is the last time you were looking forward to brushing your teeth? Ok, probably not something you think about too much, but change in my toothpaste actually makes me look forward to the "new" brushing experience. Neem has become my new favorite plant! Currently I use neem lip balm, conditioner and toothpaste.
It's been a bit difficult to find mints and gum without aspartame (why you shouldn't eat it?) in regular supermarkets, so I turned to my old friend Amazon.com and found Xyloburst that makes mints and gums sweetened with teeth-friendly xylitol and nothing else. 
I finally gave in and got more "professional" with my hot yoga practice by replacing my old Marimekko bath towel with an actual yoga towel from YogaRat.  Now I feel like I'm in with the cool peeps at the studio. Namaste.
I love this facial cleanser! I've been using coconut oil for a while now, but sometimes I need a change to my routine. I found 100% Pure cosmetics while searching the internet for toxin-free all natural products. Couldn't be happier with this one! Ingredients: Seaweeds (Kelp, Sea Lettuce, Spirulina),Green Tea, French Green Sea Clay, Saponified Coconut Oil, Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Sea Buckthorn Oil, Rosehip Oil, Extracts of Pomegranate, Grapefruit Seed and Rosemary, Lavender Essential Oil, Extracts of Cinnamon, Thyme, Goldenseal and Oregano.
And last, but not least: a new yoga mat from Aurorae. This is way thicker than my old mat from Gaiam. I haven't used this long enough to give it my final review, but I do love the pink color! :)
“Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

STYLE SUNDAY

I know I've tried to do "week in outfits" postings many, many times before (like here for example), but it's just been so hard to remember to take a full body picture of myself every single day. Especially since we don't even have a full body mirror in our house (don't ask me why). But from now on I'll make yet another effort to photograph one week of outfits and feature them on Style Sundays. Let's see how it goes this time around! In a meanwhile, here's some style shots I stole from my other blog KiitosNamaste.
Hope you had a great weekend and that your upcoming week will be even more fabulous!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

COLD DAY IN JULY

Tunic: H&M, Jacket: Charlotte Russe, Scarf: street vendor, Flip Flops: Havaianas
This week has been (yet again) filled with hot yoga, planning summer travels, detoxing and working just two days (plus Sat & Sun). We've watched Harry Potter movies and I'm finally starting to understand what these stories are about. Took me a while. My detox officially ended on Wednesday, but I've kind of kept it going since I still have some more of the herbal pills and tincture left and I'm really suppose to do this for 30 days, not 14... But I'm adding some fruits to it, because I can't be without fruits in the summer. No way Jose. Hopefully I'm not completely ruining everything by doing so. 
Anyways, on Thursday we had some strange cold air coming in and I had to wear scarf and a jacket while running errands. My toes were freezing in those flip flops. Now we're back to normal summer heat and I prefer it even I sometimes do complain how frigging hot it is. And seriously, I can't believe it's already the end of July! Now, let's make the best of it while we still can!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

INSTAGRAM TRAVEL THURSDAY: ORLANDO

Universal Studios
It's time for the second Instagram Travel Thursday! This time we're in Orlando, Florida where we spent couple of days during spring. This was my first time in Orlando and second time in Florida. Miami and West Palm Beach got familiar about 10 years ago. We stayed at Sheraton Vistana Villages which was quite nice. Our suite was extremely spacious and clean (loved the huge bathroom), grounds impeccable, but the food was just horrible everywhere. I did not have one good meal this entire trip. Only one that was ok was veggie burger at Tommy Bahamas. So yeah, not so impressive. More from this trip can be found here, here and here.



From top left: Pointe Florida, Sheraton Vistana Villages pool area, Epcot Center
Follow me on Instagram here! Also check out these other traveling ladies: @nellahelsinki,@todestinationunknown ja @veerabianca.
"We travel not to escape life,
but for life not to escape us." Anonymous

Monday, July 22, 2013

MEATLESS MONDAY: VEGAN EMPANADAS

I like to snack and instead of grabbing that bag of potato chips when I'm hungry or just bored (yes, many of us snack for boredom) I rather have healthier things lying around the house in case of these kinds of occasions. I found this recipe online while back so unfortunately I do not have the source nor an actual recipe for the filling (I just used what I had). One of these empanadas satisfies my need for snacking for a while and I've been bringing them to work as well to enjoy with my morning and afternoon tea.

Dough Ingredients: 

1 cup whole-wheat flour 
½ cup sprouted whole-wheat flour (or substitute whole wheat flour) 
¼ teaspoon baking powder 
¼ teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil 
½ cup warm water, or more

Filling:

Sweet potato (cubed and cooked)
White onion (or whatever color)
Spices of your liking (I used garlic, chili, paprika, himalayan salt, turmeric and black pepper)

Preheat the oven to 375f (190c) degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, or silpat. Place the dough ingredients in your food processor and process until combined. If the dough does not form a ball add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms.

Water sauté the onion until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Allow the filling to cool before placing in the dough. 

Roll 1/6th of the dough as thin as you can. Cut out circles with your largest biscuit cutter (mine was approximately 3 inches). Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the dough and use your fingers to seal the dough. Then use a fork to crimp the edges. Place the empanada on the half sheet pan. Continue until all the dough has been used. 

Drizzle the top of the empanadas with a little oil (I may have used a tablespoon), or spray the tops of the empanadas with oil spray. Bake the empanadas for 30 minutes until firm. 

Serve hot with guacamole or lime flavored tofu sour cream for dipping.
Enjoy and have a wonderful new week! Another chance to start over! Oh, and check out this latest video from KiitosNamaste!(in Finnish)
TOMS One for One:  With Every Product that you Purchase, TOMS will Help a Person in Need.  One for One.  Learn More at TOMS.com

Saturday, July 20, 2013

SNAPSHOTS OF MY WEEK

 It's been terribly hot and humid this week, but I was lucky since I only had to work Monday and Tuesday. NYC gets disgustingly stinky and dirty in this weather so I'm doing my best to stay away. Our town pool looks really inviting every day I'm walking from hot yoga back home.
 I've been doing hot yoga every day this week, despite the heat. There's a group of us at the studio the teachers call the warriors, because we're just always there, no matter what the weather is. Like that T-shirt? Meow!
 I love this wall that is hiding the construction zone of Lululemon store that's opening up in our town very soon. Very inspiring!
 I finally purchased sun umbrella from Amazon ($67, free 2-day shipping, love Amazon Prime!) so now our tiny yard can be transformed to my outdoor office. Nowadays I work from home once a week writing our hotel blog and writing it outdoors makes my imagination run wilder. Although this week I needed to get back inside by 12pm because it just gets too hot. On the left hand side you can also see one of my six organic tomato plants. They all seem to be doing well so hopefully soon I'll be eating some fresh heirloom tomatoes. Yay!
 I started a cleanse ten days ago and I'm feeling better than ever! Green smoothies and yoga are playing even bigger part in my life right now assisting in the detox process. I did not expect to feel this different when I started the cleanse. I feel lighter, skinnier (no bloating stomach anymore!) and have way more energy. I'll write more about the details of the cleanse soon, once it's over.
My view during lunch break on Monday. There were not too many other people in the park, because once again, it was extremely hot. So I got a nice bench all to myself and chowed down my home made kale salad.
Hope your weekend has been wonderful!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

INSTAGRAM TRAVEL THURSDAY : LOS ANGELES

1. Morning walk at the pier in Venice Beach 2. Venice beach people 3. Flying above Utah 4. Breakfast of the champions

 I'm participating Instagram Travel Thursday, created by Scimbaco Lifestyle, by sharing my travel related photos through instagram hashtag #IGTravelThursday on Thursdays, naturally, as well as in this blog.
Instagram Travel Thursday is a weekly blog post collection with a purpose to promote the great travel experts on Instagram and Instagram as a source for travel inspiration. The Instagram Travel Thursday is hosted by well-known travel and lifestyle bloggers in the USA and Europe (check out one of my favorites here), and everyone is welcomed to join in. Participants are asked to link up a new Instagram Travel post each week. You are welcome to jump in at any time.
1. View from our suite in Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel 2. Fresh-pressed green juice for breakfast 3. Pool area 4. Yet another breakfast shot (guess I really enjoyed my breakfasts on this trip
Follow me on Instagram here!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RED DINNER

Little over a week ago we celebrated Saara's move back to Europe (although we have a feeling we'll see her back in our hood pretty soon, plus in Finland, London and elsewhere in Europe). The color-theme was not planned this time, but purely accidental. I guess we all just felt like it was red kind of day.

We had gone for a little boat ride earlier in the day and after that drove to our captain's house in the suburbs and had some bubbly and other kind of fun in the backyard. 
We also ate some fresh herbs. Just because it was there. Home grown. The best kind. Parsley that is.
The captain was friends with the owner/chef of this cute little french restaurant near his house so we were in for a treat. I was given special vegetarian plate which had my favorite: risotto and veggies. Yum!