Setting Intentions with Food + Fashion

October 17, 2017

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As a part of my happiness journey, I’ve been working hard to be more intentional in the different spheres of my life. For so many of us (myself included), we have a tendency to sleepwalk through life, creating unintentional rituals that don’t support our well-being. We binge watch too much Netflix instead of making time to work out, or we snooze instead of meditating. What ends up happening when we do this is that we allow our instant gratification to take precedent and ultimately this leaves us in a cycle of feeling unsatisfied on a larger, deeper level.

Setting an intention is like drawing a map of where you wish to go — it becomes the driving force of your higher consciousness. Intentions are the fuel to manifesting your goals and visions. This is why it is so important that we become more self-aware and put out into the Universe what it is we wish to receive. To begin with, you can only change patterns if you’re aware of them.

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Two areas that I’ve felt disconnected from as of late has been the food that I eat and the clothing that I chose to wear. When life has a tendency to get hectic, often the first things I struggle to make time for are preparing healthy meals and giving myself enough time in the morning to look put together. As an image consultant, this is especially negative for my overall business, but also for my personal sense of creative fulfillment. Also, I’ve found that when you have on a good outfit you tend to have a better day. Same with eating – when you eat good, clean foods you always feel better than when you eat poorly.

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To begin this process of being more intentional with both my wardrobe and eating habits, I’m exploring the concept of minimalism. Essentially minimalism boils down to if it is not useful than it has to go. Meaning if the food you put in your body is not helping you in some way then don’t put it in your mouth. Same with clothing- if the item does not make you feel glowing and confident than change into something else that does.

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Outfit Ingredients: Sweater – H&M | Shirt – H&M | Mules – Steve Madden | Bag – Longchamp


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Eating clean does not have to be difficult. Since eating clean means eating foods in their most natural form, it makes sense that processed foods with lots of added sugar are not a part of the clean equation. Instead, focus on nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that are locally sourced. As someone who works many jobs and is the queen at being on-the-go, places like Blake Orchard make eating clean both easy and tasty. For instance, today I enjoyed a Summer smoothie bowl made from organic apple juice, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, banana, topped with coconut berry crisp granola, fresh fruit, house-made honey roasted peanut butter, bee pollen, shredded coconut, and local honey drizzle.

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If you live in the Portland area you should be sure to check them up! What drew me most to the company (besides the instagrammable signage and delicious looking treats) was that they truly understand the positive impact raw food has on your health.

P.s. Since I very much wish to encourage you in your own wellness journey I will be giving away a $25 gift card to Blake Orchard. Simply be sure to follow both @thefashioncookbook and @blakeorhard on Instagram. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Sunday, October 22nd. Good luck!

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Photography by Amanda Fogarty 

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Why Practicing Gratitude Is the Secret to Finding Happiness

October 10, 2017

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As I was sitting down to write this blog post, I was simultaneously scrolling through my Facebook feed and stumbled across this beautifully written post by my friend that encapsulates so much of what has been on my heart lately. Kory said, “Being happy is not just a choice- it’s a decision. Aim to be in spite of happy. In spite of the circumstance. In spite of the situation. In spite of it all. Be genuinely, intensely, and consistently happy -regardless of what it looks like to others. Here’s to living your best life.”  

Wow. How beautiful is the Universe for offering us each individual wonderful messages if our hearts are open to receive it? There was no way that I randomly stumbled across that simple, but powerful Facebook post. I knew that I wanted to write about the concept of happiness, or rather the choice to be happy. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, there have been many times where I have lost sight of all the many blessings in my life because my attention is fixated on something negative I’m currently experiencing. Have you ever felt like that? Like, all the beautiful things life has to offer is somehow thrown out the window when something more painful comes your way.

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The truth is blessings never truly leave us in our times of sadness, but rather, they are simply masked by the negative emotions we are giving more of our energy to. Instead, we must deliberately choose to redirect our focus to all that we have, versus all that we lack. In a recent session with my spiritual healer, Jodi, she said that I will feel happier if I develop a mindset of gratitude. The reason being is that if you focus on what you are grateful for, you’ll likely realize that your troubles aren’t as bad as they seem.

Why is this the case? This is because your brain actually interprets gratitude as optimism. Observable in brain scans, optimistic thoughts calm and soothe the amygdala, the part of the brain that sounds the stress alarm. Optimism also lowers the stress hormone cortisol, releases pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation.

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Outfit Ingredients: Bell sleeve top- Forever 21 | Jeans- Madewell | Heels- Steve Madden | bag- Louis Vuitton | Watch- Michael Kors


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Another reason to practice gratitude is that consistently practicing gratitude trains the brain to choose positive thoughts. Thoughts and words of gratitude are powerful triggers of optimism. When these thoughts are repeated frequently, the brain connects thoughts and words of gratitude with a sense of well-being. Eventually, new neural pathways are formed, which is what happens with any habitual thought pattern (good or bad). This is a way to harness your knowledge to encourage a positive outcome.

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 Photography by Amanda Fogarty 


Here are a few helpful tips  to get you started:

Try a gratitude notebook.

Get into the habit of everyday writing down a list of the many things you are grateful for. This is so important because even in our most trying times, we still have aspects of our lives to be grateful for. For instance, even if you are struggling financially remind yourself that you are blessed to have food to eat or a warm bed to sleep in. Before you even get out of bed, think of all the things you are thankful for in your life — your loved ones, your home, your job, your body, etc.

It’s the thought that counts.

On a physiological level, the brain does not know the difference between a truth and a lie. So when you have negative thoughts this translates to your whole life experience as seeming negative. Also vice versa, when you think positively you will experience a more positive outlook on life and feel happy. Therefore it is critical that you think positively about yourself and your self-worth.

Spread the love.

Tell others how grateful you are for them, in small ways every day or every week. Each act of gratitude will not only feel good for those on the receiving end, it will flood your brain with good feelings that can have a profound effect on your life.


 

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

How to Transition to Fall with Ayurveda

September 6, 2017

This post was written by Victoria Cyzewski, our wellness contributor.IMG_3001

It’s beginning to feel like Autumn! An aesthetically beautiful time of year that is the beginning of a transition period for both the natural world and our human internal world. The leaves begin to change, the air gets dry, cold winds begin their dance, we trade in our flip flops for boots and our flower crowns for hats, picnics in the park turn into movie nights at home. For some, the change in season can be jarring and uncomfortable. I know for me, the warmer part of the year brings so much freedom to me! And when the season begins to change to Fall, I can feel trapped and isolated. So this year as the leaves and our mental states are transitioning with the cycle of the seasons, how do we achieve a balance of the body, mind, and earth, and make way for beautiful change to take place? Today, we’re going to answer that question with the beautiful practice of Ayurveda.

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What Is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is the ultimate balancing technique between your entire physical and spiritual being and your natural surroundings. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic medicinal techniques from India. The belief system that Ayurveda is based on, is that everything in the Universe, living or otherwise, is connected. And Ayurvedic techniques are those that attempt to balance all elements of the universe (space, air, earth, fire, water) in your human experience, so you can feel connected, in-tune, harmonious, nourished, and peaceful with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings no matter the circumstances.

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Why Use Ayurveda? Why do we do anything in this life? Why do we give him our number, go to that yoga class, turn down that invitation, drink a glass of wine? We do it to feel good.  Ayurveda is a practice that targets and engages your physical and emotional well-being, in a personal and comfortable way. Ayurvedic practice is your invitation to listen to your body, tune into your changing mother-planet, nourish your soul and your hungry mind, and balance out the nudging flaws in your day-to-day life that you have full control over!

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What Does Ayurveda Mean To Autumn? We know that Ayurveda splits the entire universe into the five elements of:

Space, Air, Fire, Earth, and Water

And within the human body, they combine to comprise three major energies that control the functionality of your body. We call these three energies, Doshas:

-Vata dosha (space and air)

 

-Pitta dosha (fire and water)

 

-Kapha dosha (water and earth)

Every human contains all three doshas in their individual energetic makeup. However, not everyone has the same balance of each dosha within them. Some might have Kapha is the slightly more dominant energy present within them. In others, it could be Pitta. Each human is different and perfect. Every season possesses a dominant dosha, just as your body does. This is why balancing your body with the seasons creates a greater sense of happiness and harmony in the human experience.

Vata dosha rules in the Fall. The air and winds are dry and cold, and there is an energy of access movement. With this much Vata energy and the potential for it to be out of balance within the body, you could be prone to dry skin, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other physical and emotional disorders. So how do we honor the season and find balance?

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Beginners Guide to an Ayurvedic Autumn:

Food- In Ayurvedic technique, you counter the over-abundance of an element with the opposite element. So as it is cold and dry, now is the time to give in to your cravings for hot soups, root vegetables, slow-cooked meals, spices, and sauteed vegetables! Warm liquids like ginger tea and hot water with lemon will keep you well hydrated and relaxed.

Body- Fire up some of your Pitta energy by taking a power yoga class, or just bumping up your exercise routine. Then balance out your active energies by making sure your body get full and effective recovery with a consistent night’s sleep.

Senses- Hydrate and soothe your body with oil massages in the morning before you hop in the shower, or at night before going to bed. Choose a warming oil like sesame or almond. Self-massages are a beautiful act of self-care towards yourself, and a great way to commit to your well-being when transitions are at play.

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Outfit Ingredients: shirt- c/o Tobi | skirt- Madewell | booties- Steve Madden


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Photography by Centered Images

Practicing Non-Attachment in Daily Life

August 8, 2017

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When we visit a garden we don’t put pressure on the flowers we buy to live forever. Instead, we often pick out annuals knowing that they will not last longer than the summer. We do not force any further expectations on these beautiful creations other than to purely enjoy our time with them while we have them. So, why then do we so often go through life clinging and grasping, hoping that by holding onto things that we will find more comfort and happiness? When ultimately it is the very thought of losing these things that cause us the most pain?

A zen proverb comes to mind: “If you can be like the trees, which allow the birds to perch and fly away without either inviting them to stay or desiring them never to depart, you will be near to the way.” icecoffeehannahflowers

In my last blog post, I discussed the concept of non-attachment following two very traumatic car accidents which forced me to change my perspective and see life from a different angle. Today I want to unpack what are some ways to practice non-attachment in daily life.

Non-attachment means to able to exist in the world while not grasping on to anything in a sense of dependency or needing anything to make us feel “whole.”

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Here are some common examples of core attachments:

  • Thinking that a person’s image of you is more important than the person themself.
  • The idea that you need a physical possession to be happy or at peace, and that without it, you won’t find it.
  • Desiring a result or outcome, such as the idea that getting a promotion will solve all of your problems and bring you lasting happiness.

The truth is these attachments although they serve some purpose, will undoubtedly always cause you inner strife and pain. Do you see the pattern? To truly let go and live with non-attachment means to let go of ideas. It’s all mental, not physical.

You can be in that relationship while letting the other person be free, wanting only for them to be free and at peace. To be able to show them love without feeling that your worth is tied to them loving you back.

You can sit in that car, and enjoy riding it, without the idea that you need the car to be happy. If you lost the car tomorrow, it would not be the end of the world. It may have an impact, but it will not stop you ultimately. 

And you can plan projects, create things, and work towards goals without your sense of self-worth coming from your work.

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No, the true source of peace and happiness exists outside of all this, beyond the reach of these many attachments, within the mind. And the only person that can discover this for you is yourself- or so I’m learning.

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Non-Attachment Meditation Exercise:

  1. Begin by making a list a of all the things you’ve attached yourself to. Be sure to take note of any underlying similarities.
  2. Ask yourself: What do I hope to accomplish or get from grasping on to these ideas (or fantasies)?
  3. Next, contemplate deeply on the principle of impermanence. Remind yourself of the fact that nothing lasts forever. Instead of letting this massive sense of fear swell up within you, meditate on how everything lives on in a different form. 
  4. Realize that nothing exists in the way you believe it does. Think that flower exists in and of itself, independent of its environment and everything that comes in contact with it? Think again. You are just as “special” as anything and anyone else. By realizing this you will begin to see your wholeness undefined by anything you could possibly attach to.
  5. Meditate on past attachments and whether they resulted in long-term peace and happiness or not. Take time to unpack past relationships, jobs, etc. in the form of journaling. See how many times it was perhaps your expectations of how these things were supposed to go, that in the end left you so unhappy when they did not come to fruition.

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Remember where there is growth, there will be pain. Reflecting on this level may unmask some very heavy and uncomfortable personal truths, but I promise that in the end you will move forward stronger and begin to feel so much more inner peace and happiness.

With love + light,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

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