Sometimes we can become very overwhelmed and feeling stressed by having too many things going on. At these points in time, it can be very helpful to have some practices to help you relax & tune into yourself, which can help calm your mind and nervous system. So today I want to share 3 of these practices with you, which I personally use to help to tune into myself, relax and calm my mind.
Yoga is an amazing way to help you to tune into yourself. Sometimes we spend too much time in our head, worrying, stressing, overthinking etc. And then it can be so helpful to come from our heads and into our bodies instead. Yoga is a form of practice which can definitely help you to connect your mind and body, and to help you calm down and help you to tune more into yourself.
If you want to calm down I can recommend some more restorative yoga, or Yin Yoga, which are very calming practices. However, sometimes moving your body some more can be exactly what you need, and when that is the case, you can look into trying some Hatha or Vinyasa yoga.
One of the easiest ways to tune into yourself is to meditate. You can literally meditate wherever you are. All you need to do is to close your eyes and breathe and just let your thoughts come and go. Just focus on your breath, tune into yourself and relax. You can also practice mindfulness, which is being present wherever you are – whether that be doing the dishes, cleaning the house, driving in train or anything else. Just be present, breathe and be where you are.
Be in Nature
Sometimes, one of the best ways to relax and tune into yourself, is to go for a walk, or just be, in nature. Just feeling the sun on your skin, feeling the fresh air in your hair, listening to the birds sing, feeling the ground beneath you. Just getting grounded and being present in the now.
Do you have any practices that always help you to relax & tune into yourself? Feel free to share them in the comments, and let us all inspire each other.
Alana Olivers is a very inspirering woman who I’m following on Instagram & Youtube. We have very similar interests, within health, skin, and the whole mind body connection. Alana works as a skin coach and is just such a positive person, and I am so happy to have created such a beautiful ‘online friendship’ with her, without even having met her in real life. I find Alana very inspirering, and she has so much knowledge within the field of skin & health, which she is going to share much more of in this interview.
Dear Alana, will you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are and what you do?
I was born and grew up in Switzerland but I now live all over the world. I am a skin coach (I help others to make their skin look and feel its best) and I run my own company in Switzerland where we produce 100% natural, personalized, cruelty free, vegan skin care. My passion is to empower and help others see how amazing their bodies’ healing abilities are and to show them how much modern medicine underestimates what the body and skin can do all by itself, without any pills, just by giving it the right ‘fuel’ and treating it as a whole.
I am an introvert who loves to read books about health, the skin, the brain, genetics, epigenetics, psychology and the mind, who didn’t have a social media account until 24 years old and now tries to figure out how it works while still feeling weird in front of a camera every time 🙂 .
I believe that our health is the biggest wealth we have in life and that we should appreciate and respect our body and trust in its abilities and I hope to inspire others to see that the same way.
You share lots of skincare tips on your Youtube and Instagram, what made you become interested in skin? And, how did you gain the knowledge that you’ve learned?
A couple of
years ago I was diagnosed with something which made me spend a lot of time in
the hospital getting treatments and surgery which ended up weakening my immune
system massively. Apart from my completely weakened body, I started to get skin
rashes and acne, my body overreacted to literally everything and no skin care
helped. I tried everything from affordable to extremely expensive skin care,
but somehow it just made things worse.
I started to look into the ingredient lists and I was shocked to find out how
many chemicals were in there. I knew that there had to be a better way. I
started to read all the books I could get my hands on about healing the skin
and the body. I cleaned up my diet and my lifestyle as well as making my skin
care myself to make sure I can control all the ingredients.
I decided to take courses in natural skin care, nutrition, holistic medicine,
holistic healing etc. and I used every free minute to read everything about the
skin and what influences its healing and wellbeing. Soon thereafter people
started to take notice that my skin got much better and became interested in
what I did, and I started to coach them with their own skin and through word of
mouth I got more and more clients. That’s when I decided to make a Youtube and
Instagram account to share what I love most with more people 🙂
What are your 5 best skincare tips?
The foods you consume far outweigh the skin care you are applying topically, so make sure to heal your skin from within before spending money on something which can only (in the best case) help with the symptoms of your problem.
NEVER be afraid of using oils on your skin. If you are choosing the right oil for your skin it will be the best thing you’ve ever done when it comes to skin care (and it won’t clog your pores)
Be as gentle as you can and don’t overdo it with products (9 steps skin care systems were created by companies which want to sell you a loooot of products). Your skin was built to protect you from the world, it is an awesome organ and it just needs your support (not you trying to take over its job 🙂 )
Never forget that your skin is just part of a whole organism, your body. You can never heal the skin without healing the body, and as soon as you heal your body, your skin will be healthy as well.
80% of what you apply to your skin will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. So make sure that the skincare you apply only contains ingredients which you would also feel comfortable with if you would have to eat it.
What is 1 thing you have experienced that most people do not think about when they want to improve their skin, which actually has a huge impact on how your skin looks?
the gut health. The health of our digestive tract influences the health of our
skin directly. Many of my clients are a little surprised to say the least when
I ask them about their bowel movements since they booked a consultation which
should cover their skin problems. But your gut is an organ which is responsible
to eliminate (literally:P) everything your body doesn’t need and the digestive
tract also has the vital job when it comes to absorb nutrients and vitamins.
If your gut is overwhelmed or constipated it can happen that part of your
already digested food gets reabsorbed into your bloodstream which leads to
inflammation which in turn can lead to acne and/or rashes and eczema. It is so
important to take care of your gut health, to me it is the seat of our health,
If your gut isn’t healthy your whole body (including your skin) is out of
balance. So, make sure to eat enough pre- and probiotic foods, avoid processed
foods and junk foods and lower your sugar intake. After taking antibiotics make
sure to use probiotics to bring the “good bacteria” back into your digestive
Do you have some daily rituals that you do every single day?
YEEEEEES 🙂 ! I am all about rituals, I believe that without creating small rituals around the things you want to improve in your life nothing really happens. The habits which made the biggest difference in my life are:
I always start my day with a 10-20 minutes Meditation and I usually also finish my day like this (it is one of the best rituals I have every implemented into my daily life).
The second thing I do is that I start every single day with lots of warm water (I either add lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar or some sort of tea to it, whatever I have on hand that day).
I also work out every single day since I believe that an active lifestyle is so important for a healthy body (and beautiful skinJ), I either run, go on a bicycle, go for a hike or do yoga.
Another ritual I have is that I read or listen to an audio book every day (usually before bedtime, and always when I commute) for at least 30min – 1 hour.
What is your skincare routine like?
My skin care routine is extremely simple. I use the oil cleansing method to cleanse my face in the evening. After that I always have a look at my skin and decide what it needs that day. That might just be some fresh Aloe Vera or a serum, or a mask, Vitamin C, or a product/DIY which contains AHA or BHA to exfoliate my skin (I only exfoliate my skin 1x a week). After that I just apply my 100% natural night cream and go to bed.
In the morning I usually don’t wash my face at all. I use some rice water toner (I have a recipe for that on my channel) and then I either apply some of my day cream (if my skin feels dry that day) or just leave it at that. Once to twice a week I go to the sauna and apply some manuka honey as a face mask. That’s basically it 🙂
You have also created your own skincare line. Can you tell us about the products you have created?
My Skin Care Company is based in Switzerland and is called “Natural Choices”. And this is exactly what the products are all about. They are 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan, they are free from chemicals and preservatives as well as silicones and parabens.
I think our skin is so different from everybody else’s. That’s why all the products are personalized (that means a person comes for a skin analysis or has a skin coaching session with me and after that we choose each ingredient for each product specifically for that person and then creates a unique product).
The benefit of that is first of all that we can address the specific skin problems with ingredients which matches the specific needs of our client, and also that we can change the formulation once the skin starts to get better (as well as making adjustments for Winter/Summer time).
Which books have changed your life?
Super Genes (Deepak Chopra M.D & Rudolph Tanzi Ph.D.)
The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz)
The Telomere Effect (Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn & Dr. Elissa Epel)
What is your best advice for people who are dealing with skin issues and are feeling insecure because of their skin?
For sure it
is always hard to deal with skin problems just because it is usually not
something you can easily cover up and everyone sees it so you feel exposed and
judged, at least that is how I felt.
The most important advice I can give is to try to shift your perspective about
it. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is truly life changing.
Don’t see the rashes or pimples or dry flakes as something your body does against you but as something it does FOR you. Try to see it as the language your body communicates with you. It tries to tell you that something is wrong, that for example your digestive tract or your liver is overwhelmed (breakouts, dull skin f.e.), or you don’t get enough sleep (dull skin, dark circles), or that your body is chronically inflamed (rashes, eczema, acne).
If you look at your skin problems from that perspective, then first of all you can figure out the cause for it and solve your problem at its root instead of just treating the symptoms, plus you enter into a much deeper relationship with your own body and will soon learn to read every sign it gives you and act accordingly.
Once you have been able to heal your skin you’ll be so much stronger and grateful for the process you had to go through because other people will never get the chance to learn this.
Which 3 people have inspired you most in your life?
He is one
of the leading figures when it comes to the body mind connection. His books
introduced me to Ayurveda, to mediation and taught me how important our mindset
is for the healing process of our body.
inspired my whole childhood into my adult life until now. Not him directly as a
person but his movies. I sometimes still find myself scrolling through Netflix
ending up watching Mulan or the Beauty and the Beast. I am a Disney Girl :p
and me went through a lot together and have an extremely strong relationship.
He unknowingly teaches me new lessons every single day but the most important
thing he taught me is probably that being yourself and to stand up for who you
are is certainly not always the easiest way but that it is always worth it, and
in the end the most rewarding.
If people want to learn more about you, or support you in any kind of way, where can they do this?
It’s time for the first book recommendation of 2019! The first book I read this year was “Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda” by Sahara Rose. It’s all about what Ayurveda is, the three doshas, it contains an ayurvedic dosha test and so much more.
Speaking of books and reading, I’ve joined the ‘goodreads‘ site, it’s a site where you can keep track of all the books you’ve read and want to read. You can also make the ‘2019 challenge’ and put in how many books you want to read for the year and then add to the list every time you’ve finished a new book. I already wrote down the books I’ve read in a word document, but this is a bit more fun, so I can definitely recommend that! And now I can tick off the first book of the year: ‘Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda’ by Sahara Rose.
You might remember the name Sahara Rose, because I already recommended her podcast ‘The Higher Self‘ in here. But Sahara is also the author behind the book ‘Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda‘, if you are not familiar with the ‘idiot’s guides’ books, they are simply books explaining things in a very easy and understandable way.
So what’s it about?
Idiot’s Guides to Ayurveda is the perfect book if you are new to the concept of Ayurveda. Perhaps you’ve never even heard about this word before? Or maybe you just want to dive deeper into learning about your own dosha and how to balance it.
This book covers the basics of Ayurveda, the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), and Ayurvedic dosha test so you can find out of your primary and secondary doshas (I’m primarily vata, and my secondary dosha is pitta, but definitely most vata), how to balance your dosha both when it comes to food and lifestyle tips, ayurvedic self-care practices, all about the 5 koshas and the 7 chakras, good morning and night rituals, all about digestion according to ayurveda, ayurvedic home remedies and so much more!
I already knew a bit about Ayurveda and which dosha was my primary, but I’ve definitely learn a lot of new things by reading this book as well, so I will definitely recommend it if you are into holistic health, self development, growth, self-care practices and spirituality!
I’m currently doing a 30 day yoga challenge. That does not need much explanation, it’s simply yoga each day for 30 days straight. But, I want to tell a little bit more about my experience with it!
I was inspired by Cecilie Blaksted and her weekly challenges, where she does something for an entire week which I found really inspirering. Cecilie also recommended this inspirering TED talk about trying something new for 30 days. I really wanted to get back into my yoga practice again, and saw this as a perfect opportunity for doing just that. Therefore, I decided to do a 30 days yoga challenge (because clever people say that it takes around 30 days (more precisely, 21 days) to establish a new habit).
I am now on day 28 (I started November 1st), and I’ve only skipped 1 day because I was simply too tired after work one Sunday. So because I skipped one day, I’ll instead just continue for 1 more day – luckily I have a Christmas yoga event with Cathrine on Saturday (1st of December), so that is just perfect!
So, how has it been?
It has really been great! I’m feeling way more motivated to move my body, and do things, and I just love the feeling of stretching my body. I guess I’ve always loved that, since I’ve been dancing for several years when I was younger, so it feels so good to do it regularly. And I’m for sure planning on doing yoga quiet regularly after this challenge is done.
What challenge did I follow?
I followed ‘Yoga with Adriene’s 30 days yoga challenge‘ (free on youtube), but in reality you could just choose whatever you want. Take a random yoga video each day, go to yoga classes in your local yoga center, or do freestyle yoga practice at home if you are more experienced. I really like Adriene’s challenge, since she is so down to Earth and gives several options if you do not feel like something hardcore and instead want a more chill pose, and her videos are very manageable since they range from 12-40 minutes, but they are not too long for everyday practice, which makes it much easier to keep it a daily routine.
I can for sure recommend a 30 days yoga challenge! Both if you are experienced with yoga and just want to get back into your practice again, but especially also if you are totally new to yoga, then this is a great way to get into it.
Have you tried a 30 day yoga challenge? Or, have you tried other challenges? I’m really hooked on trying new things for a week or a month. I’m considering a ‘no TV for a week’, ‘no sugar’, ‘go for a walk each day for a week’, ‘photo challenge’ etc. But I would love recommendations and inputs from you guys!
Today I want to talk about the Power of Breathing. Breathing, it is usually something we tend to just take for granted. However, there truly is power in breathing. Not only have the power of breathing, ‘pranayama’, been well-known for thousands of years through yoga, meditation and Chinese Medicine, but the Western medicine has also done studies now proving the benefits of deep breathing.
Have you ever paid attention to your breath during different times of your life?
Perhaps before doing something you are nervous about, fx a performance or before an exam. You feel those small, quick breaths and it can almost come to the point where you feel like you’re going to choke because of your own unsteady breath. If you have ever been in an exam situation, you might have felt the power of breathing. Have you ever tried to put your focus on your breath and tried to breathe more slowly, and then you started to feel more relaxed? I know I have certainly done this several times, and it always seems to help and calm me down.
If you feel stressed, it might be because you are not taking the time to really breath deep. If you are feeling stressed, try to take just a few seconds, perhaps just 10 breaths, and really deep breath and slow. Take a really deep breath and fill your lungs with air, and take 10 of these breaths – and feel the change in your body and mind.
“Remember to breathe. It is after all the secret to life” – Gregory Maguire
When you breath shallow breaths, the lowest portion of the lungs never gets fully filled with air. This can make you feel short of breath and make you feel anxious. However, deep abdominal breathing fill your lungs up with oxygen – and this type of breathing slows your heartbeat and can lower or stabilise blood pressure (Harvard Health Publishing).
Deep breathing can
help lower blood pressure
help lower stress
help with digestive problems
help with insomnia
calm you down
“Breathing right is unquestionably the single most important thing you can do to improve your life. It will help you to live a longer more energetic and stress-free life” – Dr. Sheldon Helder
How to do it?
You can fx try to every night before you go to bed, to take 10 deep breaths. You can also try to add meditation or yoga to your life, or just some conscious breathing every single day.
It seems like such a simple thing, yet we often forget about it. I know I do, I tend to not breathe really deep, but rather small breaths, or sometimes I just discover that I’m almost holding my breath, especially if I’m working on something. So I find it so important to get a more mindful practice, and really consciously make an effort to take some full, deep breaths for my own health.
So hereby, a little reminder – the next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or you just want to do something good for your health, slow down – sit still and take a couple of deep breaths. Fill your lungs up with fresh air, and focus on your breathing – it really does wonders!
I will just start out by saying, that just beginning to drink herbal teas will of course not solve all of your skin problems. The body and mind is so much more complex than that. But if you are already eating relatively healthy, moving your body, getting enough good sleep etc. and you still want to do something extra to help your skin clear up, or just do something good for your body, then here are 3 herbal teas which can help clear your skin.
🌱Matcha / Green tea
Green tea or matcha can help reduce inflammation in the body, and can thereby help with inflamed acne or pimples.
The difference between green tea and matcha, is that green tea is just the leaves in a tea bag, whereas matcha is where the leaves have been grinded into powder, and it is thereby more powerful than green tea. Just 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha powder is equivalent to 8-10 cups of green tea.
🌱 Nettle tea
Nettle (brændenælde) helps support healthy skin because it purifies the blood and detoxifies the liver, which helps your skin clear up. Nettle is also rich in zinc, selenium and vitamins B and K. You can also try to make a stronger version, called a nettle infusion if you really want to do something for you skin! The taste of the nettle is quiet strong and not the best, so it can be recommended to make a mix with another herb, fx rooibos.
🌱 Dandelion tea
Dandelion (mælkebøtte) supports liver function and the digestive system. Both of these are essential for gaining healthy and clear skin. Dandelion contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins B and C.
My personal favourites are green tea, matcha lattes or a nettle/rooibos mix! Especially green tea is my forever favourite. I have been drinking several cups of green tea almost every single day for the past 5+ years, and I just love it so much!
Have you tried any of these herbal teas? Which herbal tea is your absolute favourite?
You are most likely thin and have a delicate body type. You are prone to dryness, flakiness, dark sports, and premature fine lines and wrinkles (Hello me! Whenever it gets just a bit colder in, my skin are very prone to become dry).
Your skin type is normal to dry.
There are plenty of things you can do to ‘balance’ an imbalance. Here are some tips I’ve found, which can help your skin if you are predominantly vata.
TIPS FOR VATAS
Try to create some routines and stick to them. Vatas are known for their creativity and tons of ideas, but they have a hard time sticking to things, even though they would benefit highly from this. Try to create some routines for yourself to get more grounded.
Get regular sleep
In connection with routines, getting a regular sleep is also so important. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and you can also try to create a before-bed-time routine, something that relaxes you, calms you down and prepares you for sleep. That could be making a little evening skincare routine, with candles, slow music, followed by reading a book in bed with low lights.
Vatas freeze very easily (my boyfriend can vouch for this, I almost always have cold hands or feet). To balance vata it is therefore very important to keep your body warm. Wear warm clothes, gloves, scarfs. Eat warm food (soups, sautéed veggies). Drink herbal teas.
Don’t over-exercise, but strive for more grounding activities. This could be yoga, walking, pilates, swimming, dancing, or shorter hikes.
Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats are so good for you and your skin, since these really moisturise your skin from the inside and out, and really keeps the skin hydrated. Healthy fats includes nuts, seeds and avocados.
Use gentle and moisturising skincare products
Use very gentle cleansers, so you don’t over-dry your skin. If you are a vata, you might know that feeling of very sensitive and irritated skin after having cleansed your face with a very ‘harsh’ cleanser – I do. For many years, when I was younger, I believed all those magazines telling me to buy this and that product to get rid of pimples etc., and all of the products were very harsh, so my skin for sure didn’t like that. After cleansing your face, you should moisturise it immediately after, to keep your skin hydrated. Look for warming and very moisturising products to use on your skin fx sesame, olive oil, shea butter and honey.
Vatas need more warm, cooked vegetables. They do not do as well with raw vegetables, since this can help contribute to dryness and slow down digestion. Vatas usually already have slow digestion, so eating raw vegetables does not work that well for them. Try lightly cooking or steaming your veggies instead. Eating warm veggies is very grounding for vatas, which is exactly what they need. Warm veggies will also help warm them up from the inside and out.
Today I want to share the “dirty dozen & clean fifteen” lists with you guys. It’s all about which foods you should strive for buying organic in terms of your own health and the environment, and which are less harmful.
The “Dirty dozen” list is a list of the fruit and vegetables that contains most chemicals, and which you should always strive for buying organic. And the “Clean fifteen” list is a list of the fruit and vegetables that contains the smallest amount of chemicals, and which are better/more okay to buy non-organic.
The best thing would of course be to buy everything organic, both for the Planet and for your own health. But if the budget is too tight, then here is a list of the ‘worst’ ones (the dirty dozens), which are most harmful to your health, and a list of the ‘better’ ones (the clean fifteen).
Today I want to share the things that I have found out might help to heal a liver imbalance naturally. Perhaps you can recognise some of the symptoms yourself, and want to jump on the wagon with me and try to heal our livers naturally? I’m going all in on this now and I’m so excited to see if it can help!
I found out last week that I might suffer from a liver imbalance. Which was such a relief to finally (hopefully) find out what might be ‘the root cause’ of my problems. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have servere problems, but I am definitely struggling with some acne around my jaw line/chin area, and that is although I eat very healthy most of the time. So last week I had just read about the symptoms of having a liver imbalance in the ‘Chinese Holistic Medicine’ book and I already thought there that I might have that, and then I had a biopeeling treatment with Louise, and she told me the exact same thing, that it might be my liver that is imbalanced! So now I’ve gone all in on trying to naturally heal my liver and see if that helps my skin.
The livers functions
“The liver’s main job is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions”
According to Chinese Medicine, the liver
Controls the flow of Qi
Dominates through tendons and blood bands
Opens to the eyes, controls the sight and tears
Manifests on the nails
Its associated feelings are anger and depression
How do you get a liver imbalance
Chemically sprayed crops
Poor diet (too much processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol)
Prescription medication or antibiotic use
Drug use and unprotected sex
High stress levels and hormonal imbalances
Air pollution and environmental toxin exposure
Using chemical household products
Symptoms of a liver imbalance
Muscles and limbs will be tight, sore or numb
Finger and toe nails can be dry and fragile with cracks
So now you know which symptoms that might indicate you having a liver imbalance. So, let’s move on to the interesting and most important part: how to heal a liver imbalance naturally!
Have in mind that I’ve only just started this process myself and can thereby not (yet) say if these things works for specifically healing the liver, but I’ve done lots of research on the best things you can do for your liver, and these are the ones I want to share with you here. And have in mind, that all of these things are completely natural and there is absolutely no harm in doing them for your body, so you might as well try it out if you have a feeling that you are suffering from a liver imbalance.
How to heal your liver naturally
Foods to eat
Strive for eating primarily organic food! Since pesticides is hard for the liver
The liver is connected to feelings such as frustration, unforgiveness and anger. If you hold onto these feelings for too long they will block your liver and will prevent it from working the way it is supposed to. Let go of these feelings. Practice saying no to things you don’t want to. Cry when you need to. The liver is connected to the eyes according to Chinese medicine, and crying is a way of getting relief of these feelings. So practice staying true to yourself, letting go of anger and not holding on to emotions that hurt you.
Get rid of toxins (eliminate toxins from your food, cleaning products, make-up/skincare and hair products)
Have you suffered from any kind of internal imbalance? And have you tried healing it naturally? Ps, if you have other good tips for healing the liver naturally, then let me know! And, if you have any good kale recipes, please share them, cause I’m going all in on eating kale now!
Today I want to give you a book recommendation. I absolutely love reading books and I love when others share some of the books that has really made an impression on them and learned them something, and I hope you can find some inspiration as well through the book recommendations that I give here on my blog.
The book ‘Chinese Holistic Medicine‘* by Steven Cardoza is a great book if you are interested in holistic health and how to heal the body with more natural means and before diseases starts to rise, thereby with a more preventative focus.
Holisme means to look at the whole person, both mentally and physically. To figure out what is causing the imbalance and which bodysystems that are getting affected and thereby figure out what have created the underlying reason for the disharmony or sickness that is occurring in the body. Thereafter, the holistic praxis uses this information to help the person to get back into balance again. But the holistic praxis also has focus on prevention – they will rather focus on giving advices for diet, lifestyle etc. which will help a person prevent any diseases from arising, and not just treat the sickness once it is there.
I am such a big believer of this way of thinking. Because why wait until we are sick to do something, if we can do small things in our everyday life which can help prevent us from becoming sick in the first place?
“Chinese medicine is holistic and takes the whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit – into account, instead of just focusing on the visible sickness“
If you are interested in topics such as:
The Qi flow
Yin & Yang
Emotions and their influence on our health
.. then this is the book for you. It covers all the basics of traditional Chinese Medicine, and it is really interesting and fascinating.