Para mi gente Latina! <3 (in Spanish)

Ultimamente he recibido muchos mensajes empujándome a que escriba más en español, mi lengua materna. Para mí, se me hace mucho mas fácil escribir en ingles, ya que llevo más de 12 años viviendo en Estados Unidos, pero poco a poco me ire animando a compartirles artículos en español. Empezando con esta entrevista para una revista Boliviana, COSAS. Toda la entrevista se enfoca en mis pensamientos sobre el amor propio, la libertad, los riesgos, y los sube y bajas de la vida. Espero que les guste! 

Aquí les dejo el link.

Un beso enorme!

A sustainable watch that will leave you speechless!

Here is a brand I am incredibly excited to share with you: Lian & Mez.

It’s the first time in 3 years I wear a watch. I kind of gave up on the designer ones I had and the leather-strap one I used to wear 24/7, the minute I entered this conscious journey. Since then, I haven’t been able to find a watch that embodies the new person I’ve become. A watch that represents the way I now view life. A watch I can wear every single day and smile every time I put it on. My sister and I even joke about this. Every time we talk about watches, she says something like “So…you’ll never wear a Rolex?” and I reply with a “Not until they come up with a fair-trade and eco-friendly one!”. And then, out of the blue, Lian & Mez watches came to life. The perfect combination of sustainability, elegance, and style! When I first heard of them, I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading on their website. They represent everything any human being that cares about our planet, seeks in a brand or product. Let’s start with their most impressive feature: Piñatex. Piñatex is the new sustainable alternative to leather. It is vegan leather made from pineapple leaf fibers. The best part? No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce these fibers since they are the by-product of the pineapple harvest. This practice also provides new additional income for farmers in Philippines while creating a new industry for pineapple growing countries. Do I have your full attention already? Well, there’s more! Lian & Mez, a brand designed by two German millennials, uses this pineapple leather for all of its watches’ straps with over 5 colors to choose from (the gold one is my favorite). The watches are also waterproof resistant (50m), fair-trade and handmade in Germany, and have been delicately designed with sapphire crystal glass and stainless steel for durability. I don’t know about you guys, but this is like a dream come true for me and also proof that the conscious movement is pushing brands to come up with beautiful products that are good for our planet and our people. Julian and Feramez (Founders of Lian & Mez) are a visionary example of how we can reshape the fashion and lifestyle industry for the better.

Lian & Mez is currently hosting their kickstarter and they need our help to make their sustainable watches an ongoing reality. Are you guys ready to support the change you want to see in the world? If so, head to Lian & Mez’s website for more info.

 Happy planet-loving Sunday, babes!

 

 

 

Eco-friendly Bohemian Event? Yes, please!

A month ago I had the opportunity to be part of the most beautiful event planning photoshoot I’ve seen in these 28 years of mine. Everything I’ve always envisioned my life- and even home- to look like was turned into a reality by Elizabeth Orange Events. A natural, eco-friendly, bohemian scene taken out of one of my dreams and I, of course, got to dress like a bohemian princess for it. From the second I reached the location, Samsara, I knew I was about to experience something completely out of the box. Tall green trees leading the way, and a lounge area and a dinner-table set inside a bungalow entirely consumed by nature. Everywhere I looked I saw Mother Nature. Flowers, fruit trees, palm trees, a pink sunset, and even a small pond with water running constantly creating the most refreshing melody and atmosphere. The lounge (decorated by Elizabeth Orange Events, Anthology and Unearthed Vintage) was the perfect combination of welcoming luxury, comfort, and the contagious vibes of a flower child. It all revolved on a fluffy carpet covered with colorful pillows, candles and lanterns illuminating every corner, and flower centerpieces by Anthology adding a delicate touch to the entire setting. Next to it was also the dinner-table set for eight with gorgeous copper chairs by Unearthed Vintage, names written on Papel & Co eco-friendly paper, Anthology’s blossomed tulips as center pieces, and Moroccan-looking glasses and plates. And don’t even get me started on the artisanal cocktails by Craft Cartel! Ingredients such as rosemary, ginger beer, and hibiscus were key players! There was also a giveaway table above Samsara’s Bali-looking lily pond with natural and organic mosquito repellents by Baiser Beauty, and a cake by Earth & Sugar. Like I said, moments and a design taken out of a dream!

In case you wonder, I wore a fair-trade dress and mala empowering artisans in India by Metta Loving Kindness, vegan leather sandals by ByBlanch, and a bohemian necklace handmade in Bolivia by Yvera

Photography by Katie Lopez

ToGo Smoothies! No cutting, chopping or pealing!

I want to share a little secret with all my On-the-go peeps! Now, morning shakes have become easier and faster with Daily Harvest's frozen cups full of mouthwatering ingredients ready to be placed in your blender and go! No chopping, peeling, or cutting. They are vegan, 98% organic, unrefined, paleo and full of superfoods and natural ingredients. In case you're wondering how this works,  Daily Harvest offers 12 different flavors you get to choose from and ships out your frozen cups right to your doorstep. Then, all you have to do is open your cup, add water or nut milk to it (all the way to the top), pour all ingredients in your blender, and blend at full speed. That's it! The cups are made from paper and come with a lid for you to take them everywhere. The lid even has a hole for your straw. PLEASE use paper or bamboo straws. We all know the devastating effects of plastic straws on our oceans, animals and mother nature.

The flavors I've tried so far and LOVED are:

-Cold Brew + Almond (photo below. Mine looks a little greener because I added a teaspoon of Moringa powder to it! :p) 

-Pineapple + Matcha

-Blueberry + Hemp

-Cacao + Avocado

-Apple + Greens

Another secret worth sharing? ....Use code "waterthruskin" and get 3 free smoothies from your first order!! Happy Tuesday!

I'll be a speaker at SEED Summit! Come see me!

Good morning, world!! We are starting this week with some exciting news! It turns out, I'll be one of the guest speakers at this year's SEED Food & Wine Summit!  In case you haven't heard of SEED, it's pretty much the best plantbased food and wine festival in the country! Yes! A 6-day event where passionate people committed to our planet get together to elevate the conversation about sustainability, plantbased food, conscious living, and the welfare of animals. From inspiring guest speakers, to a veggie burger battle, to yoga and meditation, to dinners and cocktails with the best vegan Chefs, and so much more! The first time I attended this event was two years ago when I was a 5-month blogger newbie writing about a conscious lifestyle. Fast forward two years and a half and I'm now a speaker at this year's summit. Life will honestly surprise you in more ways than you can imagine! In a beautiful way, that is. Always! 

For all of those souls that have emailed me with questions about becoming a conscious blogger and living life in sustainable ways, you might want to attend this event. It's worth it! We'll be covering many topics you will want to be part of, and I will be focusing my side of the conversation on answering questions about conscious blogging and a planet-loving lifestyle (diet, fashion, travel!). I hope to see you babes there!!

If you need to get your tickets, click here. Make sure you get tickets for the Summit, as well. Use Code JOINME20 for a 20% discount or click this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/seed-plant-based-food-and-wine-festival-2016-tickets-26740431350?discount=SFLBLOG75

If you need help getting your tickets, let me know.

My bio for SEED, click here

xo

Live TV Interview About a Conscious Lifestyle! (SPANISH)

(En Español abajo)

So this happened. First LIVE TV interview ever but SO MUCH FUN! I blushed, I laughed, I talked nonstop, I didn't know which camera to look at, I talked in Spanglish, and I probably got off topic many times but I also shared what I know about following a conscious lifestyle and being a blogger. My experience, how to make a difference in the world with daily baby steps (from fashion purchases to a plant-based diet to my daily thoughts) and how chasing my dreams has opened new doors for me. What a beautiful experience guys! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The interview was broadcasted in my home country, Bolivia, which means it's in Spanish. Thus, this one is for all my Spanish-speaking soulmates out there! Let me know your thoughts. :)  ps: wearing recycled plastic peep-toe booties by Melissa Shoes and a recycled paper necklace empowering women in Uganda by 31Bits.

Primera vez que escribo en español por aquí. Creo que ya ameritaba siendo que, por más que vivo en Miami hace 10 años, soy Boliviana y llevo mis raíces muy marcadas adentro y ahora estoy en la cuidad que me vió crecer: Santa Cruz. Más hermoso que eso, hace dos días tuve la oportunidad de hablar sobre un estilo de vida consciente en el show de TV "Palabra de Mujer" de PAT en Bolivia. Desde los pasos chicos diarios que podemos tomar para proteger nuestra salud y medio ambiente hasta mi experiencia como bloggera. Cubrimos temas sobre la moda que ayuda al medio ambiente (ej. Plástico reciclado), una dieta vegana sana, viajes ecológicos y también como la práctica de yoga y una mente positiva nos mantienen sanos espiritualmente. Que orgullo ver como este movimiento consciente esta creciendo en mi país! Aquí se vienen muchos proyectos más! Espero que disfruten esta entrevista tanto como yo lo hice, incluyendo mi Spanglish!! Pd: para la entreviste usé botines de plástico reciclado de Melissa Shoes (tienda en Santa Cruz IC Norte) y un collar de papel reciclado que ayuda a mujeres en Africa por 31Bits.

GIVEAWAY: Eco-friendly Hotel & More!!!

This giveaway has me beyond excited! The blog has been growing at a fast rate and I wanted to find a way to say THANK YOU and express my deep love for you guys. None of what I do would be possible without you! Therefore, I've partnered with one of the first eco-friendly hotels I reviewed for the blog to make a winner's wanderlust dreams come true!!  What a better way to introduce you to the WTS conscious lifestyle than by giving you an opportunity to experience it yourself?! Don't you think? Laguna Lodge is the second hotel I reviewed for the blog 1.5 years ago and a place that changed my life forever. The hotel is located in front of Lake Atitlán (literally!) which means that you open your bedroom curtains every morning to a blue lake with huge white clouds mirrored on top of it. Behind the hotel, lays a 100-acre Nature Reserve entirely consumed by tall trees and a trail that takes you all the way up to the top to a hammock hanging under a tiny hut. This was my favorite place. From there you can see life! Green trees, the bluest of blue lakes, infinite mountains, and little boats floating on the lake. Laguna Lodge screams pure nature-loving magic, guys! Completely circled by it, running on solar energy, offering vegetarian and vegan options only, eco-friendly bath products, a holistic spa, yoga classes, and so much more! Click here to read the post I wrote about Laguna Lodge. Click here to watch my travel videos.

Now, back to the giveaway details! A winner plus 1 (yes! you get to take your friend, partner, family member, husband or wife along too!) will receive:

-2 night stay at luxury suite (value of over $300 per night!)

-Breakfast every morning: vegan or vegetarian. You will flip once you see their menu! My favorites were the vegan pancakes and the scrambled tofu with arepas. 

-Boat ride from Panajachel to Hotel and back (10-15 min ride)

-20% off in any other service or extra night you want to include (use code WaterThruSkin with concierge)

-As if that were not enough, they winner will also receive over $200 of fair-trade, handmade and charity-oriented jewelry prices!!! (Details on brands at bottom of page)

**Please note that hotel giveaway is not valid on public holidays.

To participate all you have to do is:

-Submit your story via the box below or by sharing it on IG and tagging @waterthruskin and using #wtswanderlust. We want to know what sets your soul on fire, a little about your life, what this trip would mean to you, and who you would take with you. Entries can be written in English OR Spanish!!! :)

-Follow @waterthruskin on IG & Facebook

-Follow the brands on IG: @lagunaLodge  @carlaspeck  @31bits   @guadalupedesign @openheartwarrior   @oramajewellry  @scrapbydworak 

That's it!!! Winner will be announced August 19th! 

Conscious Jewelry by (Photos at bottom of page):

1) Handmade healing crystal necklace with hemp cord by OpenHeartWarrior

2) Handmade and fair-trade wrap around bracelet inspired in different ancient cultures worldwide by CarlaSpeck.

3) Recycled paper bracelet empowering women in Uganda by 31bits.

4) Hand-knit and fair-trade bracelet by GuadalupeDesign

5) Handmade silver bracelet that helps empower women in struggling communities by giving them the chance to create businesses with the help of micro-loans, by OramaJewellry.

6) Handmade necklace made from recycled electronic parts by ScrapbyDworak.

Name *
Name

Organic, Natural & Cruelty-free Spa in MIAMI!!!

Yes, you read right! Ladies and gents, I'm incredibly happy to introduce you to a spa that is reshaping Miami's beauty industry! Organic facials, manis and pedis with natural and toxic free polishes, a coffee/tea bar with plant-based milk options, natural and cruelty-free beauty products, fresh mimosas and SO MUCH MORE! From the minute I walked in through those doors, to the cup of organic mint tea I was welcomed with, to the wooden floors, the white walls and natural light, and the water with floating lavender buds I soaked my toes in. Blissful Me-Time! This planet-friendly spa is honestly everything a conscious person has ever dreamed of!

Founded by Noelia Olmedo, B-Livinn is a spa and beauty shop with the goal of showing its visitors that they can have that luxurious lifestyle while supporting products and treatments that are kind and healthy to their skins, bodies and our planet. To keep in sync with B-Livinn's mission, the spa offers facials, blow drys, hair treatments, kids services, and makeup, brow, hand and foot treatments with a wide variety of products all packaged with recyclable materials labeled as: vegan-friendly, cruelty-free (no animal testing), paraben free, eco-friendly, 5-free (non-toxic nail polish made without the 3 common chemicals found in nail polishes: Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate/ DBP, Formaldehyde, but also without 2 other very dangerous ones: Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor), and with love! 

Last week I had the opportunity to get a mani, pedi and facial at B-Livinn and absolutely loved it. Not only did I feel I was getting pampered with products that were nurturing my body and skin, but the staff made me feel at home and relaxed every minute of every treatment. That to me is priceless, guys! There's nothing like entering a zen-looking spa, taking a deep breath, smiling it all out, and trusting the faces that will pretty much own your body during every treatment. Peace of mind and organic pampering at its finest!

I'm counting the seconds to go there again and can't wait for you guys to see the photos and fall in love with this spa as much as I did. 

Let me know your thoughts.

xx 

Photos captured by Christine Michelle

Featured as "BEST LIFERS" by VEGA!!

Wow you guys! Speechless once again! I was featured as one of VEGA's "Best Lifers" in June!! No words to describe how thankful I feel right now. VEGA is not only an amazing, delicious and nutritious plant-based protein brand but also the one I use every day! Thus, to be featured on the website of a well-known brand I love, is priceless!! As most of you know, I don't spend a penny on press. Every feature I've been included in has been purely by word of mouth, which makes my journey even more organic and beautiful! So thank you all for that!!

Here's the link to the feature. I hope it makes you smile! Time to live our best lives, guys!!

xoxo

Should my dog go vegan too?

I've been wanting to talk about this topic for a while now. As you know, I've been vegan for over 2 years (vegetarian 3 years prior to that) and attached to that diet change came a lifestyle shift as well. The decisions I now make as a consumer are full of conscience; always trying to find ethical, cruelty-free and eco-friendly brands to use and promote. Something that makes my mind spin are the billions of dollars we as consumers spend on our furry best friends. The dog and cat food industry alone made $21Billion in 2014. And, obviously, those numbers raised a big question in my mind: Why, if I'm trying to limit my footprint on this planet, am I feeding my dog, Coco, meat-full food?. I also wondered if the food I was giving her was as good as the box and the brand said. So, of course, I did a little research and found out that most commercial dog foods are made not only of animal parts (such as beaks, brain, spinal cord tissue, bones, lungs, intestinal tracts) but also of animals that fit the category of the 4 D's: dead, dying, diseased, or disabled. That right there said it all! If you guys have taken a meditation or a very spiritual yoga class, your teacher might have covered a few of the reasons why we yogis choose a vegan diet. Number one being to avoid ingesting suffering and pain. If you think about it, that's exactly what animals experience before they become human (or in this case, dog) food: stress, pain and suffering. Dogs are animals of loyalty and compassion, naturally! So why would we want to change that?! For this reason and the fact that animal agriculture is responsible for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions,  34-76 trillion gallons of annual water consumption, and is the leading cause of species extinction, dead-zones and habitat loss, it seems natural to me to feed my furry baby food that is eco, natural, healthier, compassionate and plant-based. Don't you think? You might be wondering if dogs can survive and thrive on a plant-based diet, well... they can! Here's a link to an interesting article you might want to read to help you make a decision. For those ready to make the shift, V-dog is the brand to choose! From vegan dog food that contains 24% of plant-based protein, minerals and vitamins to doggie breath-bones to cool doggie bandanas. They have it all! Use code: WTSjuly for a little discount for first time customers!! <3 

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Thailand through the nature-loving WTS eye!

And it's finally up guys!!! The video about my 10-day eco-friendly trip to Thailand. I edited it myself so apologies in advance if it's not as professional as it should be. It's my first time doing something like this but I'll get better with time. :)

So excited for you guys to see it!!! Please let me know your thoughts. The actual story behind the video is already here on the blog. 4 parts describing each city, eco-hotel, the elephant sanctuary, and the conscious fashion brands I took with me on the trip. Click here to read all eco-travel stories. 

Time to explore the world, babes. It's calling. All you have to do is listen!

xx

 

 

Why Yoga? And what eco brands to use?

I was introduced to the world of yoga over 7 years ago but, to be honest, I never really got the grasp of it until 3 years ago. I remember my mom dragging me to yoga classes and my mind spinning at a million miles per hour during every move I made on my mat. It felt as if time went by too slow and I even remember getting frustrated because my muscles were stiff and my spine had no idea what elasticity meant. It wasn’t until I graduated college and starting working in the private banking world that my health begged for yoga. Sitting on a chair from 8-6 every day puts a lot of pressure on your hips and spine, and within a few months my back began to scream for help. The stress levels were also insane for a girl my age which led my stomach to develop a tiny ulcer. That right there was my tipping point. I immediately signed up at the nearest yoga studio and that’s how my yoga journey started. From taking 2 yoga classes per week, to becoming a certified yoga instructor, to practicing every single day. My recommendation to all of you yogis and yogis-in-the-making, try to practice at least for 10 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be the whole hour or 90 minutes (of course, if you have the time, by all means practice an entire sequence) but whatever length of time you can dedicate to yourself fully. By practicing every day you build a discipline and that’s extremely important in yoga. And lastly, BREATHE! Breathing is everything! Through every asana on your mat, and in life off your mat. Breathing calms your nerves, calms your body and calms your mind.

With that being said, here are a few of the planet-loving yoga brands I’m head over heels for:

-Yoloha Yoga: brand that designs yoga mats and props from cork and recycled tires. In case you guys don’t know, cork is a renewable natural source that comes from cork oak trees. The process this brand uses is focused on stripping the bark of trees by hand every 9 years. Not a single tree is cut down! This process also helps trees absorb up to 5 times more carbon dioxide! (Carbon dioxide helps trees regenerate their bark). Lastly, Yoloha also uses recycled rubber tires to make the backing of the yoga mats. It doesn’t get more eco than this, guys! PS: I have the Mendhi Yoga Mat, the wheel (great for back bending) and the flask. Love them all! And the fact that the material is cork makes them non-slippery and more durable!

-InnerFire Yoga: We all know how incredible yoga pants look like and this brand is taking them to the next level by designing comfy and beautiful yoga wear from recycled plastic bottles (BPA free) and other eco-friendly fibers and materials and… they are all sweatshop-free! InnerFire also donates a portion of the sales to the School Fund- an organization that helps facilitate micro-financed educational scholarships for youth in developing countries. PS: I have the lotus legging and the goddess legging.

-Gurus: this brand makes yogi flip-flops from renewable natural rubber and plants a tree for each pair purchased! Need I say more? The ones I carry with me everywhere are the orange ones.

-PortdeBras: This brand has just opened its online doors to the world. Elegant, colorful, comfortable and eco-friendly yoga wear. The designs I have are the Emilie bra (white with mauve elastic), the Christi Legging (black/grey/White) and the Letitia Bra (black). 

This story was also published on CocoEco Mag. Read it here!

 



The perfect eco-friendly home....

You know how some people dream about the perfect wedding, the dress and the huge cake? Well, there are a few others like me that dream about the perfect eco-friendly home. One with open spaces, huge windows, solar energy panels, water reuse systems, plants and herbs everywhere, and rescued animals running around the house! That's what I envision almost on a daily basis! Honestly! So much, that I've created visualization boards on my phone and now on Pinterest to share those dreams with you and maybe inspire you to start your own eco practices at home. It doesn't have to be anything huge like solar panels (I mean if you can, please do so by all means) but you can start with the daily essentials like the cleaning products you use or planting herbs at home or switching plastic cups and bottles for glass ones. That's a big powerful start already! Everything makes a difference, guys! Give it a try!

Here are a few basic recommendations:

Cleaning products: In case you didn't know, most cleaning products have toxic ingredients (for you, your pets and our planet) and test on animals. A brand that I'm obsessed with is Mrs. Meyers.  These products are natural, do not test on animals and have aromatherapy oils as ingredients. I mean... It does not get better than this! Mrs Meyers' products will have your house smelling like paradise! My favorite scent is "Lavender".

Shower head filter: Whoever came up with this idea is a GENIUS! A shower head filter that illuminates and changes to different colors based on your water use. It turns green while you are using less than 10 liters of water, purple when you go over 10 liters, orange when you hit the 30 liter mark, and RED when you hit or pass the 50 liter mark. This will not only lower your utility bills but it also has a HUGE positive impact on our environment. Water is a FINITE source and each American household uses approximately 100 gallons of water per day at home. That amounts to a total of 355 Billion gallons of water per day (2010 stats). And that is the US ALONE! Add the rest of the world to that.....

Eco-friendly Paper Products: Just like water, same happens with paper use. We use SO MUCH OF IT! From paper towels, to toilette paper, to paper cups and printing paper. It's insane! Here's a great solution for you guys at home. There are many brands, including Walgreens affordable "Ology", that offer recycled paper products. Seventh Generation is another good eco brand. You can find it everywhere! Literally! Whole Foods, Walgreens and online. 

Now, let's get to work! A healthier, cleaner and better world awaits. <3


What if you fly?

As I promised all the free spirits that asked me, today's post will be dedicated to telling you guys how I went from being a private banker to starting this blog and leaving everything to follow my passions.

Where to begin? There's so much I want to tell you guys but I don't want to make this post so long that you read only half way through. Therefore, I will try to focus on the most important details and those that will hopefully inspire you to follow your dreams. Now, let’s get to the point! <3

I graduated from college in 2010 with a major in international business. To be honest, there hasn’t been one day since that I haven’t asked myself why I chose that major. I think the fact that I speak three languages (Spanish, English and German), love numbers and come from a family of business people had a lot to do with it. My senior year in college I felt completely lost. My family kept telling me to stick to my business major while in my free time I found myself wondering about photography, taking classes about Buddhism and Hinduism, doing arts & crafts and handmade jewelry, volunteering at dog shelters, acting in front of mirrors, and preaching about my humanitarian and vegetarian values (I became vegan later on). One semester before graduation, I realized I hadn't taken a single internship during my 3.5 years in school. Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life I once again let the ones who love me guide me. Everyone kept saying "finance", which made me think they knew better so I interviewed at an international bank in Miami. After 3 meetings with the bank, I had my first paid internship and found myself working from 9-5 while taking 18 credits at school every night. My days started at 6 am and ended around midnight, which was usually the time I got home after school. Weekends I spent at home writing 30-50 page essays for most of my classes. Did I enjoy it? Hell no! But I knew I wanted to make something of myself and challenge the "beauty and no brains" judgment everyone had of me when I was a teenager. I’m not going to lie, that last semester was an ugly pain! I was not only exhausting myself physically and mentally but I was also dealing with a broken four-year relationship with the guy I thought I would marry. Talk about the freaking cherry on top! I guess my ambition was a little stronger than my exhaustion and heartbreak because I graduated with a 3.8 GPA, honors and a job offer at the bank. And that's how it all started... What I thought to be the American dream! The day after graduation I was officially a full time employee at the bank earning 50k, attending fancy client events and living in a nice apartment with an ocean view. My excitement lasted for 3 years until I realized I had never felt emptier and more confused. I knew I needed to take some time off from banking to clear my head and figure things out. Something I’ve always been passionate about is yoga so becoming a yoga teacher felt like the right thing to do. I quit my banking job (first one) and took a 45-day yoga teacher training. A few weeks after I finished my training, I was already giving privates but that was not enough to pay the “banker lifestyle” bills that were piling up and I found myself struggling every day. I had student loans to pay, rent, car, credit cards and tons of other bills on hold. Going to my family for financial support was not an option since I’ve been taking care of myself since college. My ego was also too big for that (not saying it with pride. That is a weakness I’ve been fighting with for years now). Sadly, my parents didn’t give me any moral support either because they didn’t approve my decision to leave banking in the first place. I felt completely alone and more lost than I’ve ever felt! And that’s how I got myself back into banking for the second time. I got offered a better position at another bank with almost double my old salary and, at that precise moment, I felt I had no other choice. I have to admit though, the first 5 months were amazing. I felt I was learning a lot, had a great team to work with, was traveling back and forth to NYC, and going to tons of tennis and basketball games with clients. “The job everyone wanted”, as my friends said over and over again, but I kept feeling like something was missing. I felt imprisoned. Glued to a seat for hours while I looked at the green trees and sky outside my office window. I was the only vegan, hippie, yogi, charity-loving, full of tattoos banker in the office, which made me feel more like I didn’t belong there. I kept telling myself there had to be more to life, never imagining that sentence would be my fuel to start this blog. I wanted to be so close to myself, to my emotions, to my goals and passions and to my wild heart that I decided to detach myself from the things I no longer needed… the things that didn’t make my soul happy. I sold all the items in my closet with designer names I could barely pronounce, moved from a one bedroom apt to a beautiful little studio on the beach, went fully vegan (after 4 years as a vegetarian, I finally chose a vegan diet and lifestyle about a little more than a year ago) and began to volunteer again at the charities close to my heart. Yes, I was still in banking but this time I wanted to make sure it never got to my head again! And even though I had gone from The Devil Wears Prada type of lifestyle to a simpler one, I was so joyful! I felt as if I had taken a huge rock out of my back and could finally breathe! Once I had achieved this, the blog came alive. Friends of mine told me I should put my life and daily choices in writing because it’s not very often that you find a free spirited, vegan, charity-lover, tattooed yogi in an industry full of stress and materialism such as banking. So I did. And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote and with every key I pressed I felt closer to myself than ever! After 10 months of saving (something I didn’t do much the first time I left my 9-5) and dedicating my nights and weekends and every little free second I got off the banking world to the blog, I finally accepted that staying in banking would mean living someone else’s dream and that if I at least didn’t give my passions and life itself another try I would probably spend 5 more years looking out my office window wondering “what if”. There’s no greater enemy to one’s success and happiness than the “what if”. What if I had studied acting like I wanted when I was young? What if I take photography lessons? What if I quit banking again and travel the world? What if, what if, what if! Three weeks ago I waived that “what if” (and banking!) a final goodbye. I woke up one morning and realized I would rather fail 100 times pursuing what I love than succeed at something that is slowly vanishing my smile and taking my years away. There is so much I want to do in this life… From doing my best to leave my mark on this planet, to sipping my morning coffee stress-free under a tree, to taking acting lessons, to traveling and seeing every sunrise and sunset from every coast and taking mental and physical pictures of them! But none of this will ever be possible if I don't believe in it! If I don't visualize it! If I don't do something to make it happen! And the same applies to all of you guys! Nobody knows you better than you do so don’t waste your time living someone else’s dream. Follow your passions and give yourselves entirely to them because once you act in ways that make your heart smile, you’re surrounded by positive energy and this energy attracts amazing things and people to your life to point you in the right direction. Finding the path becomes so much easier when you are doing something you LOVE and above all something good for this world. So go out there fearlessly, take risks and LOVE! In the end, if you think about it, love is energy and energy is simply everything!

xoxo

Vale

“What if I fall?”

“Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?”

Oh Holi Medicine! The natural way.

Oh, Holi Med!

I don’t about you guys, but I’ve always been intrigued by holistic medicine. You see, my grandmother, aka my second mother, my psychologist, my confident, my soul-mate and partner in crime got diagnosed with advanced cancer in her early 70s. When the doctors looked at her chest x-rays they told her she had few months to live and would not make it to a year. According to them, it was a miracle she was still alive. Little did they know she would live for another year and half. I think my family and I have natural medicine to thank for that. And of course, my grandmother’s willingness to live. The minute she got diagnosed, we changed her diet to a vegan diet and gave her natural meds, herbs and teas but the doctors suggested chemotherapy and I’m pretty sure that is what took her away from us. The chemo was so strong and toxic it did not only try to kill the cancer but it consumed her immune system completely. There’s no day that passes by that I don’t ask myself what would’ve happened if we had chosen holistic medicine all the way. It’s been two years since she passed away and besides the silence and loneliness she left in me, she also made me start to wonder more and more about holistic medicine. So… I went to a “holi-doc” and to be honest, I was, and still am, completely shocked with the results. Apparently, being vegan and exercising regularly is not enough. We still need to worry about the pH of the foods we eat! I’ve always heard about alkalinity vs acidity but never put too much attention to it. Consequence? My pH is 6.3 when it should be 7.3 or above. You guys might be asking yourselves “Why the hell is pH so important?”. Here’s a great response to that by Dr Sonja Benjamin: “Our bodies live and die at the cellular level. The billions of cells in our bodies must maintain alkalinity, in order to function and stay alive. The first line of defense against disease is a proper pH balance. Disease can only grow in an acidic body, which makes a condition favorable for the growth of bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold, viruses, and any other unwanted organisms. Cancer always strikes those with an over-acidic body. An acidic state causes a lack of oxygenation at the cellular level. When the pH level falls below 7.4, there is less than the maximum oxygen in the blood. Blood carries the maximum oxygen at pH 7.4 (alkaline). Without proper oxygenation, unfriendly bacteria, mold, and viruses will prosper. When the human body is in an acidic state, it will try to shield itself from the damaging acid by storing the acid in fat cells. The body tries to prevent the acid from eating holes in tissues. When the acid level is high in the body, calcium is also depleted. Your body may make fat cells in order to store unwanted acid for its own protection. This process may save your vital organs from severe damage. By returning to a balanced pH level, you may lose unwanted fat cells.Osteoporosis is an acidic problem. As the body becomes more acidic, calcium is depleted. The body will then leach calcium from bones, teeth, and tissue to make up for this loss. One of the first warning signs is calcium deposits in the body, which come from the calcium in our teeth and bones and not from nutritional calcium.”

Now, back to my story. According to my “doc” my pH was the result of the killer combination of my stress level (apparently, abnormal for my age) and acid food choices. I told him there’s not much I could do about the stress since I work in one of the most stressful industries out there, private banking, so until I have the guts to quit and make my passion my bill-payer I would focus on meditating more and definitely taking charge of my eating habits. He laughed and we agreed on the following: 2-3 months healing process to a better me focused on: less carbs, alkaline water ONLY, less coffee (lowering it from 3 to 1 cup a day), a diet based on 2/3 alkaline foods and 1/3 acidic and of course, no wine (told him that would not happen, like EVER! My family produces wine for a living so I’ve been basically a wine-lover since I was tall enough to grab a glass from the table and serve myself! Luckily, the “doc” knew which battles to choose.) and SUPPLEMENTS! Vegans need supplements more than anyone. I’ve hated vitamins and pills since I was a kid so I avoided them as much as I could. Result? I’m deficient in almost every vitamin out there. The supplements he recommended are 100% natural and VEGAN. Here’s the list in case you guys want to give them a try:

-E3Live Renew Me Body Blend (Strengthens immune system, improves attention and energy levels, supports circulation, etc) I add two teaspoons to my morning shake.

-Diatomaceous Earth (root powder that kills all types of bacteria and parasites) I add one teaspoon to my morning shake.

-Moringa (Superfood Miracle aka Botanical Multi-vitamin)

-Clinic’s Choice Optimal Flora (Probiotic to balance digestive bacteria)

-Clinic’s Choice Protosolve (promotes healthy circulation system)

-Clinic’s Choice Digest Plus (enzymes)

-Osteo-Gest (osteoporosis prevention)

I already started this journey and will visit the “doc” in October for a follow up. I’ll let you guys know how it goes. In the meantime, here’s a link to a list of alkaline vs acidic foods. You’ll be amazed by how foods we thought were so healthy (oatmeal and brown rice) turn out to be acidic! At least, I was.

Love you guys!

http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

 

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/25-alkaline-promoting-foods


September is for THE COVE.

Hi loves. I want to share this video and information with you. In summary, I found out about this injustice through one of my best friends… The same friend that sent me Paul McCartney’s video that turned me into a vegetarian and now vegan. This friend of mine is so passionate about dolphins she flew all the way to Japan to support Ric O’Barry’s cause, The Dolphin Project. Most of you might not know but Ric O’ Barry was the trainer of the five dolphins behind Flipper! That you might have heard of, right?? Who didn’t love Flipper? It made all of us happy and opened our hearts to the cuteness of dolphins, but that 24/7 smile we see on dolphins is just an illusion. What’s going on in the dolphin industry (captivity, training, and meat sale) is so hard to digest and accept that Ric O’ Barry made the transition from training dolphins in captivity to combating the captivity of these beautiful and intelligent creatures.

In 2009, The Cove was released to show the reality dolphins are facing in Japan where about 22,000 are killed per year for the sale of their meat, which is labeled as “fish meat” in Asian markets. The “fortunate” ones to survive are sold to dolphinariums where they will face years of slavery for human amusement. I don’t know about you guys, but this is the peek of cruelty. We have officially lost our humanity. When did we conclude that animals are here to be exploited? They were in this world long before us! So what makes us think they are beneath us… worth less than us?

The slaughtering of dolphins in Japan begins every year on September 1st and lasts until March/April of the following year. I urge you to please watch this trailer and -if you have the heart, which I know you do if you are taking the time to read my blog posts- watch the movie. The Cove, my friend “the dolphin advocate”, and the fact that whales, sea turtles, dolphins and more sea animals are captured and killed during net-fishing practices are the reasons why I gave up seafood for good.

Please watch, share and be the voice. More links below. XOXO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8JC_239vnc

http://dolphinproject.org/about-us

http://www.thecovemovie.com


Speechless. Doesn't happen often! Cowspiracy is a MUST!

Ok. Cowspiracy. Where to even begin? We’ve all seen documentaries about the meat industry. Most of them leave us heartbroken and frustrated through their tough depictions of the inhumane torture towards animals, but this documentary is different. It’s probably the only one that filled my brain with powerful and useful information rather than stuffing my heart with emotions.

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I didn’t know much about the negative effects of the animal industry on our planet, but after watching Cowspiracy I became more proud than ever about my choice of lifestyle. Being vegan took another perspective. I realized that being vegan is not only about your compassion towards animals but it’s also about sustainability. It’s about helping stop one of the most destructive industries facing our planet today: factory farming. This “animal-exploiting” industry is one of the leading causes of global warming, water pollution, deforestations and dead zones. Try visualizing this: it takes 220lbs of water to produce ONE hamburger while it only takes 1lb of water to produce one orange. Did you know all this? Pretty eye-opening isn’t? And that’s nothing compared to all the information this documentary throws at you. In short, this documentary is a must for anyone who cares even a little about our planet’s future… And especially for all the environmentalists who love preaching about global warming but haven’t realized yet that the only solution to the earth’s problems is a plantbased diet. Watch it, share it, LIVE IT! 

Xoxo

ND of course, click here to get your tickets and to read more info on Cowspiracy.