Explore Wellness in Cuba with Me

Heart and Soul

Are you curious about sustainable communities in Cuba? I’ll be leading a curated trip to explore the heart and soul of Cuba. Dine with leading Cuban experts, travel through Cuba’s countryside and sip locally grown coffee out of coconut shells. We’ll make cashew elixirs with local ethnographers and take a Cuban dance class.

You can read the full itinerary for June 8-15 and register for the trip. Registration ends April 15. You don’t want to miss this amazing trip to explore Cuba.

Do I have to wear a bikini?

Do I have to wear a bikini at Carnaval?

You don’t have to wear a bikini at Carnaval


Are you interested in dancing in Carnaval San Francisco but concerned about the costume? Don’t be. Here’s why.

No, you don’t have to wear a bikini.

In short you can wear whatever you want in the parade. I am here to support you feeling good about yourself. We can modify your costume to your comfort level so that you feel confident no matter what.

All bodies are good bodies.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to choose self love but I know that its a challenge. There is literally a multi-billion dollar industry that specifically wants you to feel bad about yourself so they can make money. I encourage everyone to fall deeply in love with themselves and appreciate whatever stage they are at in life.

It’s a celebration!

Carnaval San Francisco is a celebration of the vast and diverse cultures of Latin America. People show up to have a good time and honor the manifold of beauty standards, clothing, art, music and dance. As long as you’re having a good time, everyone will think you look great.

I hope you will be brave this year and dance with BeadSquad because everyone should be able to dance their bundas off.

Exist Loudly! at Carnaval San Francisco

Exist Loudly

Take Up Space

Carnaval San Francisco is less than 4 months away and BeadSquad is getting in gear. This year we want to take up space and be proud of who we are as individuals and as a group so our theme is “Exist Loudly!” This past year has been wild, politically, emotionally and professionally. The lessen I have chosen to focus on is to be my most authentic self.

Someone once told me about Enneagrams, a way of categorizing personalities and described me as type 4, the individualist. She described it as 2 sides of the same coin. When I’m feeling happy I’m ecstatic to be unique and see my individualism as a way to connect with a broad spectrum of people but when I’m sad I get anxious about not fitting in and feel isolated in my distinctness. This idea resonated with me. I have frequently been told “you are the weirdest person I know and the coolest person I know” by many different people and I cant ever take it as a compliment. This year I am owning my quirks and letting go of the part of my ego that wants to fit in.

I have noticed that when I speak my truth I feel more connected to others. The bonds I share with others are strengthened. When I become more clearly defined so does my community. I encourage you to take up space and Exist Loudly!

Want to Dance with BeadSquad? Rehearsals start Wednesday March 6 7-8:30 pm, join us!

New Year, New Schedule, Same Big Dreams

New Year, New Schedule

New Year, New Schedule, Same Big Dreams


When I started my journey as a wellness coach several years ago, I knew I wanted to help people connect with their body and live their best life but I struggled to find a way to be consistent. After bouncing around for a few years I am finally settling down with a consistent schedule. I will be offering more weekly classes as well as workshops and organised outings. I am excited to deepen my connections with the wonderful people that have been coming to my classes and continue to grow the community we’ve been creating.

This year I invite you to grow with me and make this the year to strengthen our bonds, deeply love ourselves and exist loudly. BeadSquad will begin rehearsals in March but it’s never to early to start getting your cardio on with Buti Yoga and Diaspora Dance Fusion.

You can check out my class schedule and pricing options to find a plan that works for you.

Ideas to Create a Bedtime Ritual

Better Sleeping

Create a Bedtime Ritual for Better Sleep

Starting the day of right often involves getting restful sleep. Having a bedtime ritual can help you sleep better. Good sleep is imperative for good health. Current research shows a strong relationship between sleep and our brain’s functioning. Lack of quality sleep can lead to poor motor functioning as well as foggy thinking and lowered ability to overcome stress. There are studies that link insufficient sleep with increased rates of Alzheimers disease.

Here are some ways to help you create a bedtime ritual to sleep better and wake up feeling energized.

Turn down the lights

As the sun sets our body responds by increasing melatonin levels in the brain. Bright light at night can block our bodies production of melatonin making it harder for us to fall asleep.

Most of our devices, like phones, tablets and televisions emit blue light which mimics the effects of sunlight and suppresses our melatonin levels. Some devices have the option to switch to a night time mode that decreases the amount of blue light produced.

Start dimming your lights a few hours before you plan to go to sleep to boost your melatonin levels.

Take supplements

Some supplements can be hard on an empty stomach or having one more thing to do in the morning can feel overwhelming. After dinner is a great time to take any supplements to help your body rest and restore.

Take a mineral bath

Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils and a cup of sea salt can soothe sore muscles and nerves. Try adding magnesium flakes or epsom salt for sleep inducing minerals. I love soaking in a bath before bed with dried flowers and herbs to invite sweet dreams.

moisturize

Gentle massage with your favorite lotion or body oil can help you relax and is a good way to start quieting your mind. Try rubbing yourself down with a magnesium infused lotion to help your GABA production. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter that inhibits synapses in the brain. Nourish your skin with rich creams and oils can slowing brain activity to prepare you for sleep while relieving tense muscles and moisturizing your skin.

Mentally prepare for sleep

Take a minute to reflect on your day and write down your thoughts. You can keep a journal or note pad next to your bed to make a list of all the things you want to follow up on the next day. I tend to worry at night so I like to write down the random thoughts that are on my mind to help me stay asleep.

Yoga

Stretching and meditating will clear your mind and prepare you for quality sleep. Doing a few poses to loosen tight muscles, especially from sitting, can relax your mind and body. I like to do a few dynamic movements like cat cow to increase my circulation and then follow up with deep belly breathing to slow down my heart rate and quiet my brain. Here are some other breathing techniques to help you relax into a restful slumber.

Consistency

Having a consistent bedtime and waking time helps your brain produce the right amount of sleeping and waking hormones. Your bedtime ritual doesn’t have to be a drawn out process but having a few consistent activities can help cue your body for restorative sleep.

Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and sets you up for success. Sometimes starting the day off right can help you get the quality sleep you need and deserve. Here are some ideas to create a morning routine for an energized morning.

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe for You and the Environment?

The sun provides the Earth with light and energy, it stimulates the production of vitamin D. However those powerful life giving rays can be harmful, so it’s important to cover up. But is your sunscreen safe? It might not be protecting your skin enough or leaching chemicals into your blood stream. Some chemicals in sunblocks are harmful to coral, is yours?

The Difference Between Ultraviolet A, UVA and Ultraviolet B, UVB

The sun produces a spectrum of rays. Some of it is visible light the comprises the rainbow of colors we can see. Some of it is invisible to our eyes like Ultraviolet and Infrared.  UVA has long waves that can penetrate deeper into our epidermis layer of skin, which can lead to skin aging. UVB has short waves which can burn the superficial layers of skin which can lead to skin cancer. The sun protection factor (SPF) rating on your sunscreen refers to the percentage of protection from UVB rays only.

The Safety of Mineral vs Chemical Sunblock

Mineral sunblocks are made with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA and UVB rays. Data shows that these minerals are unable to penetrate the skin and leach into your blood stream. However check the other inactive ingredients, for chemical preservatives of fillers that might leach. These minerals offer full spectrum sun protection and do not harm coral reefs.

Chemical sunblocks are made with a combination of chemicals that either scatter UVA or UVB. These types of sunblocks blend together chemicals to create a lotion that protects from both types of rays. Many of these chemicals are able to be absorbed through the skin. There is reason for concern. New lab studies have found that some of the chemicals used, like Oxybenzone, have been found to also be endocrine disruptors in animal tests.

This means that some animals, like coral larvae, are unable to develop properly, which has contributed to coral bleaching. Oxybenzone is able to penetrate the skin and reach soft tissue. The CDC has found it in breast milk and the blood stream. Unfortunately our current safety system allows for products to be available on the market until they are proven unsafe. There has been minimal testing for many of these chemicals on humans.

How to Choose a Safe and Effective Sunblock

With over 600 products available it can be hard to sift through the copious amounts of unintelligible lists of ingredients. The Environmental Working Group has create and annual list of sunblocks available in the US and chooses the safest and most effective products. Most major brands make both mineral and chemical products, so you have to check each one individually.  You can also check their pocket guide for a quick reference of ingredients to avoid.

Even if you don’t plan trips to the beach or intend on long exposure, I encourage everyone to choose a mineral sunblock with a short list of ingredients. This will reduce your risk of absorbing potentially harmful chemicals and keep our oceans healthy.  We are all connected and the production and distribution of chemicals is often the actual culprit of environmental disasters rather than individual use. Lets all stay safe.

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Ideas to Create a Morning Routine

Having a morning routine can significantly improve the quality of your life. Here are a few things to incorporate into your morning routine to nourish your body and get you feeling great.

Drink Water

Activate your digestive system by drinking 8 ounces of warm water. Good hydration helps regulate hormones and flush toxins from your body.

Detox Your Mouth

At night our bodies are in cleanse mode and bacteria can build up in our saliva. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or try oil pulling to freshen your mouth.

Move

Take a few minutes to get your blood flowing. Doing some light stretches and excercises will help prevent injuries and improve thinking.

Eat Breakfast

Activate your digestion and supply your body with energy for the day. This is the best time to load up on carbohydrates. Ensure that your are getting enough protein, about 30 grams. Eat within one hour of waking up in the morning. Try sipping on some bone broth if you don’t have an appetite early in the morning.

Take Supplements

Breakfast is a great time to pop those pills to give you an extra boost for the day.

Mentally Prepare for the Day.

Take a few deep breathes and write down a list of tasks that you want to accomplish for the day, later on you can enjoy the satisfaction of checking things of the list. Try different breathing techniques to help you wake up.

Your morning routine can be short, even if its just a few minutes to do one or two things for yourself can improve your health. Part of creating a successful morning routine sometimes also involves having an evening routine. Have water by your bed or prep something for an easy breakfast.

Savory Bourbon Pate Recipe

Pate is a wonderful way to incorporate organ meats into your diet. Liver is full of vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin B 6 and 12. The bourbon in this recipe adds a subtle sweetness that complements the rich flavor of liver.

8 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of chicken livers
1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped
Heavy whipping cream as needed
Sea salt to taste

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt 4 pads of butter until it begins to foam. Add bourbon, shallots and garlic, until translucent. Add the livers and thyme to the pan until the outsides begin to brown but the inside stays soft pink, about 5 minutes.
Move livers into a blender or food processor with about 3 tablespoons of cream and blend until smooth, adding cream and salt as needed.
Transfer into a glass container and smooth the top, then cover tightly and allow to chill for 2 hours before serving.

Easy Lacto-fermented Ketchup

Ketchup is rich condiment that gives everything a little extra umami and sweetness, however most ketchups contain a shockingly high amount of sugar. Swap out conventional ketchup for this nutritious version with probiotics.

2, 6 ounce cans of tomato paste
1/4 cup sucanat or natural sweetener of choice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
sea salt to taste

In a small saucepan dissolve sucanat in warm water.
Combine sugar water, tomato paste, vinegar, clove, cinnamon, mustard powder and salt in a quart jar and stir until well combined. Cover with a lid and allow to ferment in a warm spot for 2-5 days, then transfer to refrigerator.