Hummus With Every Meal of the Day

I believe that surviving healthy on the go has everything to do with meal preparation. Actually, surviving anywhere has everything to do with preparation. Here are a few ways in which I simplify daily meals. Take note, however, that change doesn’t happen overnight and you need to get a hang of things to make your days easier. It has also been scientifically proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So when deciding something is right for you, stick with it and be patient. Results will show in forms of you having more energy, being more positive, and being uplifted in your thinking, or even looking more toned and leaner.

Food is our primary source of energy. I also believe that 80 % of healthy lifestyle derives from your food choices, here are some simple recipes with their healthy nutritional properties.

I, for example, love hummus. That doesn’t mean I eat it all day, every day. But I stick it in my meal plan every second day for a different meal if I can.

As it is a bean-based spread, it boasts with protein, carbs, and fiber and it is at the same time low in fat. It has the capacity of balancing out blood sugar levels. Beans are also full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Such spreads are not only super easy to make, but they also stay fresh in your fridge for days, and they don’t break a buck in your wallet either.

The recipe is fairly simple. I like to start mine from scratch.

Grind sesame seeds well to get tahini or sesame paste. Add a little olive oil for a smoother mixture, but any other plant-based oil works as long as you know its taste will blend in with the rest of the ingredients. Cook the pre-soaked garbanzo beans until they soften. Cool them and add some more olive oil, a little bit of water, a pinch of sea salt, a tiny bit of pepper and some ground red paprika and a clove of fresh garlic. Mix them all together in a blender and cool before serving. It is as easy as it sounds.

Hummus is a super easy, healthy addition to your menu as it only takes a few minutes to prepare if you don’t count the cooking time of garbanzo beans, which you can anyhow purchase pre-cooked and canned. It is moreover a great addition to fresh vegetable salads. Or to enjoy as a snack next to sliced cucumbers, bell peppers or tomatoes.

It is so versatile that it can be paired with various dishes. A recent favorite of mine is paired with zucchini cookies (yes, cookies, you’ve read right). 

Here’s the recipe:

Use two regular sized zucchini, 1 cup of rice flour, 1 cup of crushed almonds, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a tiny bit of baking soda.

Preheat the oven, mix all the ingredients together well (if it’s too sticky add some extra oil), shape into preferred size bites and bake at 356°F for a good half-an-hour. Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool place.

With the hummus spread or without, they can serve as a great appetizer or even dessert. They are cookies after all.

Spreads, in general, are also convenient as they go well with various foods and you can take them with you wherever you go. You’ll become a rock star in your friend’s eyes when you show up at their picnic with this tasty treat.

Japa Mala Beads

Perhaps you have already seen a few yoga practitioners going around wearing those long-beaded necklaces and wondered why they are so common amongst yogis. Well, these strings of beads are more than a regular fashion accessory; they go by the name of Japa Mala Beads and are also known by many simply as prayer beads. Their history remounts since approximately 3,000 years ago and having their roots in yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism they were initially used for a type of meditation known as Japa; a Sanskrit word standing for “to recite.” Just as its definition implies, japa meditation consists of quietly using mantras or a divine name as you focus on quieting the mind. Mala on the other hand, means “meditation garland;” implying the way this item stands as a symbol of one’s own spiritual intention, practice, journey, and destination.

Each mala consists of 108 beads in addition to one on the top called Sumeru, literally translating into “wonderful Mount Meru;” a sacred mountain in Hindu, Buddhism, and Jain cosmology that is considered as the center of all physical, metaphysical, and spiritual universes. The idea is to hold the beads in between your thumb and forefinger without touching them with your middle finger (as it is considered a sign of disrespect) progressively moving from one bead to another by using your thumb. As you switch from bead to bead you concentrate your mind not only in your fingers’ movement but also in reciting mantras in sets of 108 repetitions. Once you reach the 109th upper bead you can show gratitude to your guru, teacher, and/or important people in your life. In Hinduism, the number 108 has for long been a sacred and divine number and though its interpretation varies substantially, some say that the number 1 represents God, your highest self, or the universe; 0 symbolizes humility and emptiness with regards to the spiritual practice and 8 timelessness and infinity.

The use of japa mala beads is especially relevant when practicing Dharana and Dhyana, the sixth and seventh limbs of yoga that seek single pointed concentration for later developing an uninterrupted concentration next to stillness, quietness, and awareness.

Now a-days malas are being manufactured by various suppliers inside and outside India and Asia, usually using materials such as seeds, sandalwood, rosewood, or gemstones. It is recommended to choose the one you feel attracted to and identified with the most, as well as to wear it during your meditation practice and throughout the day. It is said that the japa malas absorb the energies of your practice and thus mirrors them back to you later in your day to day life.

Ten Short Yoga Quotes to Improve Your Practice

Sometimes other people say it best. They find a way to express a thought or a feeling in a way that makes perfect sense to you, or their words open a new line of thinking. Quotes can be beautiful, sad, or just philosophical. They can offer comfort when you are in need or express an emotion that you were barely aware of. Quotes can enhance every part of your life, including your yoga or meditation practice. Here are ten quotes to make you think about yoga, and life in a new and deeper way.

1. For those who are always looking for something, even when they are certain that they will never find it.

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teachings of my soul.” – Rumi

2. For those who are unhappy and don’t understand why.

“Through practice, I’ve come to see that the deepest source of my misery is not wanting things to be the way they are. Not wanting myself to be the way I am. Not wanting the world to be the way it is. Not wanting others to be the way they are. Whenever I’m suffering, I find this war with reality to be at the heart of the problem.” – Stephen Cope

3. For happy people and a happy world.

“Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.” – B.K.S. Lyenger

4. Beautiful words from the master of peace.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. Words we all need to listen to and live by.

“Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself.” – Sandy Kalik

6. The point of yoga is never the pose, it is always the practice.

“The prize is in the process.” – Baron Baptiste

7. An idea that applies equally to life and yoga. Anything that is worth having requires that we work towards it.

“No one is wise by birth, for wisdom results from ones own efforts.” – T. Krishnamacharya

8. Encouragement for those times when we feel like we can’t do anything right.

“By our stumbling the world is perfected.” – Yogi Bhajan

9. A reminder that we can always control our reactions to situations that are out of our control.

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” – Mr. Yoga

10. This is a reminder that not everything can be the way we want it to be, and we would be much happier if we would accept that.

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

These are some yoga quotes that can improve and enhance your life and your yoga practice. Use them the next time you need a bit of inspiration or support.

Yoga for New Moms

Congratulations! You’ve just had a baby, so enjoy every snuggle from that little bundle of joy. It’s probably a huge relief to finally be holding him or her after growing them for 9 months.  Even so, after all the changes your body went through during those 9 months of baby growing, you’re probably excited to get your body back to normal. We all know that this can take time, and your body needs time to heal. If you had a vaginal delivery you can probably start doing light exercises as soon as you feel up to it, but you’ll still want to confirm with your doctor. If you had a c-section, check with your doctor before doing any physical activity. Once you get the go-ahead, yoga is a fantastic way to ease yourself back into exercising and building up your strength again. It can even help with the healing process, so let’s look into some different poses that can help you postpartum.

Once you’ve received the go-ahead from your doctor and you want to start rebuilding your abdominal muscles, try doing a modified Navasana.

  1. Sit on your mat with your knees bent and your toes just resting on the mat. 
  2. Use your abs to support your back.
  3. Hold your hands out in front of you just next to either side of your knees and hold the pose for about 10 seconds. 

As you become stronger you can gradually start lifting your feet off the mat to add intensity to the workout.

All those hours of feeding and staring at your new baby can take its toll on your neck and shoulders. There are several poses to help with this. You can simply do ear to shoulder stretches to help alleviate the tension in your shoulders or you can utilize your mat and practice thread the needle pose

  1. To do thread the needle pose, simply start in a tabletop position and then walk your left arm forward as far as you can. 
  2. Once it’s in place thread your right arm underneath of it. 
  3. You can even rest your right cheek on your right shoulder and relax into the pose. 
  4. For both of these exercises make sure you do both sides equally!

Last, to help with your leg strength and pelvic floor give Triangle Pose a try!

  1. Stand with your feet about five feet apart and turn your right foot so that your heel aligns with the left foot. 
  2. Keep your hips facing forward and extend your arms out to shoulder height. 
  3. Once you’ve achieved this extend your torso over your right leg and place your right hand next to your right ankle. 
  4. Make sure your left hand and arm are extended toward the sky.


As with all yoga poses, make sure you repeat the exercise on the other side!

The mental benefits of yoga can also be extremely helpful during those first few weeks as a new mom. It’s a challenging time full of exciting but overwhelming experiences. The emphasis that yoga puts on simultaneously moving with a breath helps to calm the brain which can benefit both baby and mom! As much as you love your new baby, they still require a lot of patience. A consistent yoga practice can help instill more patience in a new mom so you can feel more relaxed when trying to figure out why your little one won’t stop crying!

Yoga is a fantastic way to safely rebuild your strength after giving birth. Be sure to always consult with your doctor first before beginning exercise. Yoga cannot only rebuild you physically but also help you mentally during those tough first weeks or months! Remember that it’s important to take care of your little one but you also need to take care of yourself as well!