Vibrant Soulful Blog

Join the Vibrant Soulful Newsletter

Take Microadventures This Summer!

June 4, 2024

Microadventures are small and achievable outings for people with real lives. Summer is a great season for microadventures with good weather and long days. Taking microadventures is a key strategy for making the most of summer even if you’re working full time.

Four Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer While Working Full-Time

June 3, 2024

Summer is here, and for those who are working full-time jobs, it can feel challenging to figure out how to both work and enjoy summer. ‍Here are four ways you can make the most of your summer while working full-time.

Take Your Lunch Break!

May 20, 2024

North Americans are famously overworked. A life well lived includes taking time to mindfully enjoy your lunch and not eat it at your desk or in front of your computer.

More Fun, Less Phone: 5 Tips for a Better Relationship with your Digital Devices

May 10, 2024

More fun and less phone! 5 tips to help you cultivate a better relationship with your smartphone and other digital devices.

What I'm Learning about Wellness and Longevity in Spain

April 29, 2024

I’ve been traveling in Spain for just over three weeks and I’m continuing to observe, investigate, and absorb the lifestyle habits that may contribute to the fact that Spain currently has the highest life expectancy in the European Union. ‍While it may be challenging to account for all of the reasons for the high longevity in Spain, the habits that I’ve observed that seem to correlate with longevity, wellbeing and an overall sense of happiness are the these...

For the Love (and Health) of Olive Oil

April 22, 2024

Once you've tasted good olive oil, it's hard to consume any other oil.‍Good quality, extra virgen olive oil transforms a piece of bread, a simple salad of greens, or grilled vegetables into something sublime.Not all oil is created equal.

How to Enjoy and Adapt the Mediterranean Diet To Your Diet and Lifestyle

April 22, 2024

You might think you need to visit Spain, Italy or Greece to enjoy the Mediterranean Diet. If you love to travel, by all means, visit these places. They are special! But, know that you can enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet wherever you live!

Yoga and Heart Health

March 28, 2024

Yoga is great for the heart because it incorporates active exercises, resting and restorative poses, and stress management practices.

Stressed Out? Let Nature Help You Destress

February 26, 2024

Most of us feel good when we get out in nature and we may think, yes, nature is good to have around. However, nature is not only nice, it is also crucial for our cognitive and physical wellbeing.

Nine Ways to Cultivate Joy in the Workplace

February 22, 2024

Joy is vital to our wellbeing, to our cognitive functioning, to our work performance, and to our sense of professional fulfillment. ‍Joy is an antidote to burnout.‍ Here are nine ways you can cultivate joy in the workplace.

Join the Trend! More and More People are Using Yoga and Meditation to Support Wellness

February 12, 2024

A big shift is taking place in healthcare as more and more Americans are employing practices such as yoga and meditation to support their wellness and complement their healthcare.

Eating Well In Winter

January 30, 2024

A healthy, nutrient-rich diet is essential for everyone, especially during the winter months when we are all more susceptible to catching a cold or virus. In the winter months, our bodies experience changes in energy levels, metabolism and even food preferences. Let’s look at some questions and answers related to winter eating.

Caring for Your Mental Health in Winter

January 30, 2024

It’s February and the days are getting longer, but for many of us, especially in the Pacific Northwest, the days are still quite short. If the cold, gray, rainy weather makes you feel down, you are not alone! It’s not uncommon to experience fatigue, sadness, difficulty concentrating, and changes in your sleep schedule in the winter. The good news? There are several easy things you can do to beat the winter blues and these can also help ease SAD. 

New Year, New You! New Year's Reflection Journaling Exercise

January 1, 2024

Ever since I was young, I have always loved ringing in the new year. The new year is a potent time for reflecting on the past and envisioning the future. As a kid, I always enjoyed the ritual of writing New Year’s resolutions. ‍Over the years, I have developed a New Year's Reflection Journaling Exercise with questions to think about at the New Year. This exercise serves as both a reflection and a planning tool. While you may sit down and work on this exercise in one sitting, you may also set aside a little time each day and work on this exercise over a week.

Time to Get Cozy

November 21, 2023

The days are getting shorter. It's the time of the year when I find simple contentment in warm wool socks, candles and mugs of fragrant tea. Though I'm not from Denmark, I love embracing the Danish concept of "hygge" or "coziness" in Winter.

Mindful Eating for Health and Pleasure

November 13, 2023

Mindful eating encourages us to make food choices that promote our wellbeing while taking pleasure in the eating experience. When we eat mindfully, we bring our awareness to the experience of eating including the sensations in our body, our thoughts and our feelings about food. 

How to Do Cued Relaxation

October 2, 2023

Cued relaxation is a simple technique in which you set up a cue to remind you to consciously relax. This cue may be internal such as a physical symptom, an emotion or a behavior or it can be an external cue.

Healthy Boundaries are True Self-Care

September 25, 2023

Boundaries are the limits you place on relationships and work that determine the physical and emotional space between yourself and others, or yourself and your work. ‍Healthy boundaries lead to healthy self-respect and they are the most important pillar of true self-care according to Pooja Lakshmin, author of Real Self-Care.

Meal Planning for Better Health and Wellbeing

August 30, 2023

Better health and wellbeing can start in the kitchen with the simple act of meal planning.

Boost Your Wellbeing with a Growth Mindset

August 30, 2023

To improve your wellbeing, you have to believe you can make a change.Psychologists have found that the beliefs we have about our abilities and our potential are predictive of future outcomes, including our wellbeing.

12 Ways to Make Your Salads More Exciting

August 17, 2023

At the end of summer, when I don’t want to cook with heat, I make salads. Salads are an excellent way to eat more vegetables and fruits. According to the CDC, only 10% of American adults eat enough fruits and vegetables. Making your salad more exciting is a good strategy for building more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Five Tips for Staying Active In the Summer Heat

August 9, 2023

Here are 5 Tips for Staying Active in the Summer Heat

Summer Tip Sheet

June 17, 2023

Think cool, calm and hydrated.

Yogis' Best Travel Tips

June 10, 2023

Over the years, I have cultivated an effective tool kit of strategies to keep me healthy when I travel. Now, no matter where I am on the planet, I keep my daily routine, and I incorporate strategies, foods and remedies that keeps my body-mind healthy and happy.

Savoring the Good

June 2, 2023

Savoring the good is a practice that builds positive neuroplasticity, counteracting our brain’s natural negativity bias and makes us happier, more curious, more open, and more skillful.

Boost your Mood and Wellbeing with an Awe Walk

May 22, 2023

The experience of awe lowers stress and inflammation. It makes you more compassionate, curious, and creative. It improves your sense of wellbeing and leads you to feel more connected with the greater world and with your inner world. One of the ways I’ve been consciously eliciting the emotion of awe on a regular basis is by taking “awe walks.”

Yoga is as healthy as people say it is.

May 17, 2023

‍There is a long list of health benefits that come with practicing yoga. If you haven't done yoga before, I invite you to give it a try! Truly yoga is for every body.‍There are many ways to adapt yoga for different bodies.

Resources to Support Mental Health in the Workplace

May 17, 2023

Mental health and wellbeing at work declined during the pandemic and continues to decline according to recent studies. This post lists the key findings of a recent survey on employee mental health and offers a variety of resources to support mental health in the workplace.

Why do a Spring Reset?

March 23, 2023

A seasonal reset is an opportunity to reset your body and your mind for health and well-being for greater health and immunity for the upcoming season.

Build a Self-Care Tool Box

March 8, 2023

Let's talk about self-care. Self-care is the art of paying attention to you and your needs.Self-care ≠ self indulgence or being selfish. Self-care means taking care of yourself so you can be healthy, experience wellbeing, be able to do your job effectively, take care of others, and accomplish what you need to do in a day.

Strategies for Better Sleep

March 2, 2023

If we're honest, many of us aren't as well rested as we should be. The costs of not sleeping well may well be the motivator to make changes in your life so you can sleep better. But, what’s even more important are the big prizes that sleep can give you. Learn strategies you can use right away to start getting better rest.

Experiencing Awe and Wonder and Why It's Good For You

February 21, 2023

Scientists who study emotions define awe as a response to encountering something vast and mind-blowing. Such an experience may feel like goosebumps or "little earthquakes in the mind." As it turns out, experiencing awe and wonder lowers stress and inflammation. It makes you more compassionate, curious, and creative. The feeling of awe improves your sense of wellbeing and leads you to feel more connected and with the greater world and with your inner world.

Tips for Staying Active, No Matter the Weather!

January 25, 2023

Winter may be the easiest time of year to blow off a workout.‍ It’s too cold, it’s too dark, I just don’t feel like it!‍ The list of excuses goes on and on. Ignore them! ‍Your body needs the boost exercise brings to your immune system, especially the winter months.‍ Let’s look at some tips for staying active!

Want To Be Healthier and Happier? Focus on Social Fitness.

January 18, 2023

The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness came out this month by Harvard psychiatrist, Robert Waldinger. This book focuses on the question of what makes a life fulfilling and meaningful. The resounding answer is our relationships. 

Let's All Move More During the Workday!

January 16, 2023

Even though I'm a health coach and a yoga teacher, a lot of my work involves sitting at a computer. I'm well aware that a sedentary lifestyle is hazardous to my health, even if I exercise outside of my workday. I was happy to learn about a recent study published by the American College of Sports Medicine found that the risks of a sedentary job can be reduced significantly by getting up moving during the workday. Here are some ways to do this.

‍7 Tips for Caring for Your Mental Health During the Holidays

December 9, 2022

December is touted as “the most wonderful time of the year”, yet it’s not wonderful for everyone.Bright lights and happy faces are what we see on the outside, but on the inside, December can be extremely difficult. While depression may occur at any time of the year, stress and anxiety during November and December may cause even those who are usually in good spirits to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.

Take a Pause: Ideas for Honoring the Winter Solstice

December 9, 2022

As we move toward the Winter Solstice, the natural cycle of the season and the diminished daylight is an invitation to turn inward toward rest, stillness and silence. In the midst of this month’s festivities and fun, may you also cultivate the quiet spaces to pause and go inward and deeply nourish your body and soul.

Honor Your Ancestors and Commit to Your Self-Care

October 31, 2022

Fall is an auspicious season for remembering our ancestors and clarifying and healing our relationships with them. In this blog post, I offer you an inquiry and ideas on how you might honor your caregivers and step into the role of becoming your own best caregiver.

Five Mindful Self-Compassion Practices You Can Do Anywhere and Anytime

October 17, 2022

Mindful self-compassion is a skill combining mindfulness, or present moment awareness, with the emotional aptitude of self-compassion. Studies link mindful self-compassion to many health and wellbeing benefits including lower stress levels, lower levels of anxiety and depression, protection against burnout and compassion fatigue, improved relationships, and positive health habits.

3 S's: A Formula for Wellbeing

October 10, 2022

One of my mentors, Dr. Suzie Carmack, taught me a wonderful formula for wellbeing that she calls the 3 S’s. This is a formula that I use to prioritize my own wellbeing and it’s something I have shared with hundreds of clients.

Deep Breathing to Counteract Stress

September 27, 2022

One of the best ways to counteract stress is deep breathing. Learn a simple breathing practice that can help you get out of stress mode and connect to the present moment.

Why Do a Fall Detox?

September 19, 2022

A seasonal detox is a reset for your body and mind. When you take the time to reset your diet for healthier nourishment and recommit to a better self-care regime, life gets better. Ayurveda, the health tradition from India and the sister science of Yoga, recommends doing a gentle detox each fall and spring.

The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake

August 30, 2022

Back to School Wellbeing: 3 R’s for Teachers, Students and Parents

August 23, 2022

Late August is here and it’s back to school time for teachers, students and parents. I hope you’ve made the time to fill up your cup this summer and rejuvenate yourself. The trick now is to keep your cup filled! With this in mind, I offer you the following formula to help you prioritize your wellbeing: 3 R’s for Wellbeing: Reflect. Release. Recharge.

How to Use a Wellness Wheel

August 17, 2022

A Wellness Wheel is a visual guide and tool for self-exploration that can help you assess different aspects of your wellbeing. Wellness is an active process in which an individual becomes aware of and makes choices towards a more a healthy life. Using a Wellness Wheel is a tool for helping you engage in this process for yourself.

A pitta (heat) reducing yoga practice

August 4, 2022

This is a yoga practice to help you cool down on the hot, dog days of summer.

Enjoy the Juicy Fruits of August

August 4, 2022

According to Ayurveda, our bodies heat up at the end of the summer. The effects of this heat can show up as skin irritations, rashes, hay fever, and disrupted digestion. If you suffer from any of these, it is likely that your body has accumulated excess heat. If you can cool and release the hot, sharp qualities of summer from your body, you will transition more smoothly to the dry season of fall and you will strengthen your immune system and prevent full colds and flus.

Summer Ayurveda Food Tips

June 16, 2022

While there is plenty to enjoy in summer including warmer weather, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. To help create balance, consider one of the classic Ayurvedic sutras that says, “like increases like and opposites balance.” This wisdom can be extremely helpful when considering your diet and activities in every season.

Moon Journaling for Creativity and Self-Care

June 16, 2022

Moon journaling is an easy and effective way to deepen your self-care and connect to your creativity. Just like the moon, you go through phases. Learn how you can use your journal to align to the moon's energy and deepen your awareness of your own cycles.

Women's Ayurvedic Wellness: Moon Cycles

June 16, 2022

Plant Based Diet Tips for Spring and Summer

June 16, 2022

A Yard to Table Inspired Menu for Summer

June 16, 2022

Some of the best summer foods can be found in your backyard! Today’s menu will feature greens and herbs that grow easy and often unbidden! Lemon balm Dandelion Fennel Mint Oregano

Eat Your Greens: Wild and Weedy Edibles for Spring Health

May 17, 2022

Eat from your ecosystem! In the spring, our physiology is primed for lightening up and clearing winter stagnation. Most of what nature has to offer in the spring are greens that are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and generally detoxifying.

My mental health story: a panic attack leads me to yoga

May 9, 2022

Foods to Favor in Spring

March 31, 2022

In the spring, the body’s need for the heavier, rich foods of winter shifts to a desire for light, dry, simple foods that digest easily.

Crafting A Path of Practice

March 4, 2022

12 Reasons to Unroll Your Yoga Mat

February 18, 2022

Being On Your Own Side: A Simple Guide to Self-Compassion

February 15, 2022

Self-compassion is being on your own side and treating yourself the way you would treat a friend. Bringing care to your suffering and pain makes you more resilient and this is good for others too. In this blog post, you'll be introduced to the concept and practice of mindful self-compassion, a skill combining mindfulness, or present moment awareness, with the habitude of self-compassion. 

Kitchen Habits 101

February 10, 2022

In this post, I share with you a lot of habits and ideas about how to make the most out of your time in the kitchen each day, each week and each season. I call this Kitchen Sadhana.

A Year of Resilience

January 1, 2022

As you prepare to let go of 2021, and step into 2022, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on this year of resilience. As you reflect on 2021, I invite you to remember the challenges you have overcome this year, to pause and honor what you've lost, and to express gratitude for what you have. This is a time to look inward and to consider how to best care for yourself, how to tend to your wellbeing, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. This is a time to look outward and consider how best to connect and reconnect with others, how to build and rebuild your community, how to support what's dear to you, and how to sustain that which supports all of us.

Herbal Chai Masala

December 2, 2021

Herbs and spices are not only tasty, they also have many health promoting properties. The following chai masala recipe is a perfect beverage for the chilly days of autumn and winter. It has many herbs in it that are warming, immune building, and helpful for digestion. 

Becoming Stress Resilient

December 1, 2021

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological exertion. Stress is your mind and body's response to anything that requires attention or action. Stress resilience is the ability to effectively cope with stressors and return to equilibrium or homeostasis after a stress has passed. The goal isn’t to eliminate all stress, but rather to learn to manage stress more effectively.

10 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving Weekend

November 22, 2021

Here is a list of 10 tips for a making your Thanksgiving weekend healthier.

Practicing Goodwill

November 22, 2021

For keeping calm and carrying on during the holiday season, the teachings of the Brahma Viharas, from the yoga and Buddhist traditions, offer four teachings for cultivating goodwill and peace. These teachings invite us to focus on the intrinsic web of unity that binds us together so that our common humanity is active in our awareness.

Simple Gratitude Practice

November 22, 2021

Appreciating and savoring what is going well in our bodies, homes, relationships, and communities counteracts negativity and bestows health onto our bodies and minds. Practicing gratitude supports healing. People who practice gratitude are more positive, compassionate, and generous. They also sleep better, have healthier hearts and less aches and pains. Try this simple gratitude practice.

Discover your Dosha: An Introduction to Ayurvedic Body Awareness

November 1, 2021

Ayurveda is a time tested health system that excels at guiding individuals toward greater well-being through lifestyle habits, individualized diet recommendations, and mind-body practices.

Autumn Wisdom: Predictability and Boundaries

October 12, 2021

The days are getting chillier. Apples are falling off the trees. The trees in my back yard are starting to drop their leaves. The natural world is in transition and the Ayurveda tradition offers a wonderful lens from which to understand this season and practical guidance for healthy living.

Self-care versus self-soothe and why we need both!

October 4, 2021

Self-care is engaging in activities and practices that cultivate your resilience and build your capacity to move forward in a healthy way, while self-soothing activities help you get through the present moment.

Moroccan Inspired Late Summer Tagine

August 30, 2021

What's cooking in your kitchen this week? Today I made a late summer vegetable tagine, a Moroccan inspired stew that is healthy, fragrant, and totally versatile. Mine has chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and yellow romano beans. The secret is the spice mixture called ras el hanout, a heady mixture of cumin, ginger, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne and allspice.

Yoga for Better Balance

February 15, 2021

Whatever your age, yoga and Ayurveda are meant to enhance your wellbeing and help you live with ease and age gracefully. This winter's yoga series focuses on healthy aging, and one of the areas we focus on is: balance.

Turning 50! Musings on 30 years of practicing yoga

January 25, 2021

This Saturday I turn 50! I'm excited to step into my 5th decade. I started practicing yoga in college thirty years ago, just after I turned 20. This morning as I sat to meditate and do my asana practice, I was reflecting on my experience of practicing yoga almost daily for three decades. Here are my musings on my thirty years of practicing yoga.

The Health Benefits of 25 Herbs and Spices

November 23, 2020

We are used to using spices to enhance the flavor or food. Our spice pantry is also a medicine chest! Learning the beneficial health properties of spices and herbs is a fun way to turn your kitchen into a pharmacy.

Why You Should Eat a Bigger, Better Lunch for Better Health

October 12, 2020

In this blog, I discuss meal timing, meal spacing, and why a bigger, better lunch may be healthier for you.

Whole Food, Plant Based Eating for Fall and Winter

October 12, 2020

Unlike most diets, a plant-based diet is defined by what it focuses on, not what it excludes. When you eat a plant based diet, you maximize consumption of nutrient-dense plant based foods while minimizing processed foods, oils, and animal foods. Eat veggies, fruits, beans, seeds, and nuts. Include local and sustainably-raised dairy, eggs, poultry, and meat in smaller amounts if you wish.

Foods to Favor in Summer

July 13, 2020

According to Ayurveda, our bodies heat up over the course of the summer season. The effects of this heat can show up as skin irritations, rashes, hay fever, and disrupted digestion. If you suffer from any of these, it is likely that your body has accumulated excess heat. If you can cool and release the hot, sharp qualities of summer from your body, you will enjoy the summer season more. Thankfully, if you look to what is fresh in your area, you can cool the heat by eating what nature provides best this season.

How to Build a Buddha Bowl

July 9, 2020

Ayurveda Tips for the Summer

July 8, 2020

A fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that our habits, routines, and dietary choices should align with the seasons.

Dandelions! Why and How to Eat Them

July 8, 2020

What is more hip than kale? Dandelions! Dandelions are some of the healthiest greens around, and, they are everywhere... in your yard and garden, along roads and pathways, in fields.

How to Eat an Anti-inflammatory diet

July 8, 2020

Inflammation is the cause of many serious diseases. Inflammation in the body occurs due to factors such including stress, lack of movement, genetic disposition, and a poor diet. If you are eating a plant-based diet, chances are you are probably eating an anti-inflammatory diet as well.

A Week of Smoothies

June 9, 2020

Five smoothie ideas to get you through the week.

Build Deep Immunity with Restorative Yoga

November 18, 2019

According to Ayurveda, ojas is the life sustaining vitality that promotes immunity in the body. I think of it as your energy reserves and deep immunity. Ojas is responsible for sustaining your physical health, mental clarity and emotional well-being.

Be Your Own Best Caregiver

November 4, 2019

An on-going theme that I teach my clients and emphasize in my wellness courses and explore in my own life is how to step into the role of being your own best care-giver and how to prioritize self-care.

Autumn Nourishment

October 23, 2019

I so appreciate how Ayurveda, the healing tradition from India that I am so found of, offers guidance for living in sync with the seasons of the year and suggests adjustments for diet and daily activities to stay healthy and balanced.

Living Vibrantly in the Fall with Ayurveda

September 14, 2019

Autumn is a time of transition. In Ayurveda, the autumn is the season is dominated by the elements of air and ether, which Ayurveda calls the Vata dosha.

Detox in the Fall for Better Health

September 14, 2019

Even though I eat a healthy diet, get lots of exercise, and have good self-care practices, I'm not perfect. and I don’t live in a perfect world. I sometimes cut corners, especially in the summer months when I'm on vacation having fun. I don't want to be a perfect human, but I do want to be healthy. Because this is the case, I’m a great fan of doing a seasonal detox.

Lessons learned about daily rhythm from living in the Andes

July 24, 2019

In this blog post, I want to share the key lessons I’ve learned about daily rhythm from the people of the Andes.

A Simple Meditation Practice to Connect to the Earth

July 22, 2019

In this blog, I'd like to share a lovely practice that I've learned in the Peruvian Andes to connect specifically to the energy of the Mother Earth, called Pachamama in the Andean world.

Learning Earth Sadhana in the Andes

June 27, 2019

Over the years of spending time in the Andes, I have explored rich and varied ways to engage my sadhana (my spiritual practice) with the intent to experience a deeper connection to nature’s rhythms. I call these Earth Sadhanas.

Vibrant Living Summer Tips

June 11, 2019

As summer heats up in your area, Ayurveda has sound advice for staying healthy through the season.

Cultivate Balance and Harmony: Sattva

May 7, 2019

In the yoga tradition, there is a beautiful word, sattva, which stands for the qualities of goodness, balance, harmony and serenity. These are the qualities that yogis aim to cultivate through their practices, and indeed the very qualities that most of us can attest to wanting more of in our lives.

Soaking in the Good - Practicing Pleasure

February 18, 2019

​According to the Vedic teachings, pleasure or enjoyment is one of the 4 Aims of Life. Kama refers to the pleasure of the senses. It is both an aesthetic enjoyment and also an enjoyment of emotional connection and affection. In Vedic teachings, taking time for enjoyment is considered a responsibility of householders.