BECOME A DARK CHOCOLATE LOVER, WHY YOU ASK?

Hi... do you love chocolate? Or sweets? When you have one sweet treat do you want more and more? Is it hard to cut back on sugar? Let's chat, cause you are not alone!

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Now I did not put those photos there for you to start salivating over, although I'd agree my mouth is kinda getting watery... which is all good. 

Let me share with you a little vulnerability and how dark chocolate has come to the rescue. Not so many years ago as I cut way back on drinking alcohol, I unintentionally replaced that with a full blown sugar addiction. As I started peeling back some layers it became apparent I had been using both of those things to mask feelings that ultimately I needed to face and work through. So in my quest to heal which began with changing my diet completely and having that calling to jump on my yoga mat regularly, I discovered dark chocolate along the way. Make no misunderstanding, dark chocolate was not my healer to life's issues but it did become a healthy alternative to the overload of processed sugars I used to consume, like in the photos above. 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

                                                                                           Be patient with yourself if you have some unmasking to do.... it's a process 

I'd like to think of my dark chocolate consumption now as a Daily Joy. Do I still have a cookie, bowl of ice cream or a piece of birthday cake... absolutely, I would never completely deny myself of life's greatest little delights. But that is a once-in-a-while joy not an everyday joy like it once was treading on. Becoming gluten free has been one of the best things for me and due to reactions in my body that immediately tell me processed sugary, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, wheat containing goodies hate me... it's been a blessing to my overall health. 

It was all sort of a process I went through but as I started really nourishing my body with organic food regularly the sugar cravings lessoned. I often was depriving myself of necessary nutrients that would usually keep your blood sugar balanced and by mid-day I'd essentially plummet into hypoglycemia and suddenly my body would scream for something and it was always sugar that I reached for. Makes sense doesn't it? I needed a nutritionists help to figure this all out but once I realized what I was doing to my own health, I had to get into a better routine. No exceptions. 

Dear Body,
I love you, I accept you, I see you. I promise to cherish you all the days of my life
— Unknown
Photo By  John Hong

Photo By John Hong

As I disciplined myself, I also acknowledged the joys of balance. I honored that I was not going to cut out sweets completely, that would just be rude to do to myself. As dark chocolate entered my life I started trying different forms of it and cacao percentages. Some days I'd have a square and other days an entire bar but by keeping one in my cabinet regularly it's helped me not have has much over all.  My tastebuds have grown to love it and I feel darn good about consuming it, in moderation. No apologies. 

Buying quality dark chocolate with high cocao content is actually quite nutritious. Besides one of the best reasons; IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, there's a plethora of research out there that will have you swooning over it soon enough. So if you've suffered from the sugar binges like myself,  may I inspire you to put down the processed junk and dive into exploring some dark chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  In combination with nutritious, organic meals you'll be on a path to healthier living– YOU got this!

A few of my favorites:

If I've not convinced you yet check out this great article on Huffington post I found as I wanted to do a little more research for myself... 9 Reasons You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

Well this turned out to be another really fun little bit to share with you all. If it resonates with you or you can relate and want to share, leave me a comment or feel free to e-mail me and by all means if you have a treat you'd like to share, hook a sister up!  Just remember every choice we make can be the start of something bigger and wiser for our over all good. I say hail to the dark chocolate and become a lover. 

XO Andrea

 

A NEW YEAR, A CLEAN SLATE... ARE YOU READY?

First of all... Happy New Year you amazing souls!

Isn't the start of a new year the biggest breath of fresh air?  

Whether you are they type of person who outlines your resolutions and goals for the year or someone who takes it in strides choosing one thing you'd like to focus on out of the gate.... do yourself a favor and keep it simple and clear.  I start with identifying what is going to serve myself and my life best and consider what it will take to make the change or changes. I'm fortunate to be part of a women's group ( www.TheNewHollywood.org ) in LA that provides the members with a guide book. It's a wonderful tool if used effectively that can help you create and manifest what you'd like to achieve and see happen in a year. We break it into quarters with points of focus for each that support our twelve goals or aspirations we've outlined. Although it takes time to sit down and do, it allows for more clarity and you simplify how to get there. I accomplish much more in a year since I joined this supportive group and use the book. There's certainly a plethora of ways to bring more joyful peace & motivation into your world and they don't have to be written down or outlined in a book, that is just a process I'm enjoying. I say do what works for you. Maintain the things that are already working and enjoy the possibilities of discovering something new. As we leap into 2017 together with enthusiasm, can I inspire you to fill it with gratitude and intentions in any form that serves you well? 

 
Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, Australia

 
 
Photos snapped by Erik Almas

Photos snapped by Erik Almas

 

My yoga & meditation practices are other incredible tools that have changed my life.  I'm profoundly more gracious and accepting of all the things I don't get done and take time to reflect on all the things that I do, which is a freeing space to be in. The awareness you create with mindful exercises will expand your life whether you had that intention or not. It's pretty great when it surprises you and suddenly you now know what to shift around to make them a priority for yourself. I trust they've been healing my soul and guiding me to a healthy lifestyle from the inside out for years now. It's an ever-evolving journey that thrills me as I jump on my mat over and over again and embrace the challenges of being able to sit quietly with myself. My passion for writing about it and sharing it with students as an instructor comes from what it's done for me. I will always encourage you to find the physical and mindful activities that make your spirit soar, that shake you up and make you feel alive. You will never be sorry for finding a way to incorporate them into your days regularly. Go get'm! 

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I'm wising you all so much love, light and happiness for a beautiful 2017. I love hearing from you guys so don't hesitate to leave a  comment if something you do is working great too, I love the exchange of tips and helpful resources for each other.  I hope Inspirational Addict can continue to be a place you come that lifts you up and makes you smile with our shared vulnerabilities, stories, experiences and adventures of life! I've cherished all the comments and e-mails this year and look forward to the year ahead. 

With Love & Gratitude XO, Andrea

 

 

HAPPY HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

Ohh it's that wonderful time of year with pumpkin flavored everything and Halloween spirit is alive. Shall we grab a light jacket and take a morning stroll to stumble upon the changing colors and leaves falling? Let's do it...

Snap by my niece  Camryn

Snap by my niece Camryn

It's a perfect time to prepare our minds and bodies for the Holidays by keeping on track with our physical activity and healthy choices. The temptations of sugary Halloween treats and over indulging are real. Willpower can become our best pal during these times of vulnerability. We all have it but it shows up in different ways at various times for each of us. Can you trust that you're so in-tune with your willpower that you know the difference between letting yourself have a balanced life and slipping completely off track? Of course you can!

Awareness is our guide to inner strength rising to the surface through thoughtful perspective and choices that inspire us. So what keeps you motivated?

Other people can be awesome motivators as well as powerful quotes, personal mantras, underdog stories, fitness activities you love and let's not forget the power of just being YOU! Lead the way. I always say someone has to be the inspiration so why not let that person be YOU.

SELF TIPS

  • Set intentions that support your goals
  • Create an environment that's uplifting and supportive
  • Maintain your healthy rituals and explore adding in something new

SOCIAL TIPS

  • As you partake in social gatherings, suggest an activity to do all together
  • Bring a healthy snack you can enjoy and others may appreciate too
  • Create space for non-judging, fun conversations connecting with others
Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

Our inner self is affected by our outer environment. As we approach November listen to what that calls for.  I'm a believer in the mind, body, spirit all working together to maintain your best, healthy self! When we can sit quietly and listen intently, our core beliefs will guide us. At the end of the day take time slip into That fall festive feeling by sipping on hot tea, getting cozy under a blanket with a good book and enjoy the people you love.  Share what helps you with others, let your willpower be a vehicle for spreading some inspiration. 

Give yourself a Happy Healthy Halloween treat....

May I encourage those who are interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice to register for Oprah & Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience: Creating Peace from the Inside Out starting Oct. 31, 2016? It's a lovely, FREE way to grow into being able to sit with ourselves. 

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any comments please leave them... I love hearing from you.

Helpful contributors on this blog were my awesome nieces, Anna (14) and Camryn (11)

Stepping Away

The work is piled high, deadlines are hanging over our heads, we’re begging for more hours in the day to attend to our priorities, we’re not sleeping enough, we don’t have time for play or nurturing ourselves… does this sound like you? Take a deep breath in and let all the air out please. Feel better?

I love when someone in my tribe says to me, “take some time for yourself Andrea.” So here I am on our Soulful Sunday to pay that forward and remind YOU to celebrate YOURSELF as much as you do your work and daily demands. In fact when relaxing and nurturing yourself becomes part of your daily demands you should feel really darn proud, even if it’s just stepping away from all of your responsibilities for 15 minutes. It’s so important. Pay attention to who your tribe is too, as we are all transmitters and receivers. An environment filled with love, compassion, support and encouragement will serve everyone best when it’s happening in both directions.  

I’m traveling again right now accompanying my man, Erik Almas, at the Xposure International Photo Festival in the UAE and it’s incredible. I’m getting more free time than usual but Erik has had a taxing schedule and work is pouring in more than ever. He is so good to me when I’m slammed and feeling overwhelmed and always reminds me to take time to listen to what I need and honor it. It’s my turn to see if I can inspire him to stick to his mindful rituals and encourage some fun in the mix of the busied days.

Today Erik and I woke up to catch a sunrise and shoot a little together. We cherish the early hours that often are filled with magic and when the alarm goes off 30 min prior to sunrise it's a good time for us to visualize that magic. He has a ton on his plate so I know sleeping in would have been more appealing and yet we made the choice to get up and go. The sunrise was stunning. We laughed as we heard a boat of partiers still going strong and I dropped into my few little stretches so we could start snapping some yoga shots. The morning came with gorgeous colors illuminating the water which carried us blissfully into breakfast. The ocean was so enticing we then had to get paddle boards and take a cruise. All of this by 10AM and man did it feel great. We both could have spent the entire morning working away but we know how important it is to make time for some fun, creativity and quality time together too.

iphone snap by Erik Almas

iphone snap by Erik Almas

Whether you’re married, in a relationship or single, having a give and take with support will only make all your relationships stronger. As you encourage and inspire others, allow others to encourage and inspire you. Get in touch with being receptive and motivating, be open and giving with it all. 

So next time you sense a friend or loved one getting a bit bogged down, can you be the motivator and offer a change up in action for a bit? Suggestions don’t have to be big and elaborate, think small and simple. My goals partner I check-in with for our weekly focus always includes something like; take a walk with hubby and the kids. It can be as easy as that. 

Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud
— Maya Angelou

Thanks for popping by you amazing souls. 

 

 

We Are Never Too Old

Hello lovelies— Have you ever asked yourself, "how old do I feel?"  And if so, on a fairly consistent basis, would you say it is younger or older than you actually are? If the answer was older don't get discouraged here... we're just going create some awareness and maybe even shift our perspective if necessary.

In recent years, as my birthday rolls around I continue to ask Mom & Dad, "are you absolutely sure you had me in when you say you did... I'm feeling like I should see my birth certificate?" The smiles beam through the receiving end of that call. I'm proud to say I feel younger than I am.  I know for sure it wouldn't be this way if I didn't re-arrange my lifestyle about seven years ago and make my health and wellness a priority I'm committed to.  

As I climb up into an old oak tree, I'm reminded of my youth and how many trees like this I've climbed over the years to play and see things from a different view. Comparably, this is how I look at my current age; playful & from a different view. 

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

After an inspiring chat with my one of my best friends last week about her turning another year older and how she too can't believe our actual age (we cringe) because our physical age feels much younger (we laugh), I got excited to write about this. She is one of my most adventurous and brave girlfriends who nurtures her health and wellness and challenges herself to great heights as that once a year event continues to strike. We wrapped up our talk with love and laughter as I wished her a Happy Birthday and the best of luck on a climb she was headed for. She just completed it Friday with her husband, who is equally motivating and sent me a breathtaking photo. Here's an example of her great heights...

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank ( Namastamy ) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank (Namastamy) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

We did it! 8,844ft Half Dome summit in Yosemite! 18 miles with 4,800ft of elevation gain, whew, my feet hurt! Thank you to my hubby, Matthew Edler, for enduring the pain with me to celebrate my birthday
— Andrea Link Edler

I read an article awhile back on Medical Daily that caught my attention about your biological age being different from your chronological age. Naturally, I want to know!  Well, I'm thrilled to report after a series of questions answered truthfully, I'm 12 again? WHAAAAT? Now that's just a little young but I'll take it. Want to find out your Biological Age? Leave me a comment if you do it. Remember, fun + awareness. 

I share all of this because creating a consistent yoga practice, adding clean organic food into my daily eating habits and quieting my mind with a mediation practice has changed my life. Physically, I don't suffer from severe joint pain any more. I'm stronger and more flexible than when I was 18 years old and a professional dancer. I rarely get sick. I honor where I'm at each day when I get on my mat. I treat all of this as a practice which gives me the freedom to enjoy the journey and accept all the imperfections in the process. So when a best friends says she feels young and vibrant I get to graciously say, "I'm so happy for you, me too".  I wish this for everyone. As we navigate our way through the food industry, explore exercise we enjoy, expand in our minds and create the life we want to feel our best in, can I inspire you to NOT let your chronological number be something that stops you?  If you're telling yourself you feel old, you're too tired, you won't see a difference with your efforts... that is potentially all true. So stop that. Shift your perspective, replace excuses with actions that support you and embrace all the power you have even in your thoughts to be thriving, visualizing yourself doing all the things you want to be doing. It's never too late to get curious and make changes about how to live a better, healthier YOU. I'm proud of you already! 

This 96 year old Yoga Instructor, Tao Porchon-Lynch has some wonderful, uplifting advice for us.

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm going for it 

I'm going for it 

Tune into your body and you will experience it. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds.
— Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm inspired by so much and so many. Thank you for supporting me in my journey to share stories and connect with all of you. Any comments and questions are always encouraged and welcome!

Mindful Tips For Travelers

So you're going to be traveling huh?

Photo by my gorgeous friend  Jade Tailor  who showed me around  Lynn Canyon

Photo by my gorgeous friend Jade Tailor who showed me around Lynn Canyon

As traveling is a big part of my life it's important for me to stick to somewhat of a routine, even when I'm put into situations where it can be disrupted. Perhaps I can relate this to most of my friends with children who say how important it is to keep their little one's on a schedule. Well, I need this too... how about you guys?

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear
— Buddha

There's no doubt that traveling can influence a major shift in our eating, physical exercise and mindful practices... but if we have some intentions as we wander into new territories we can certainly keep our selves in-check and possibly even shift perspective with how we indulge mind, body & spirit!

My pal  Rod McLean  snapped this for me as he showed me some sights at  Sea to Sky

My pal Rod McLean snapped this for me as he showed me some sights at Sea to Sky

I consider this yet to be another form of practice. How do we sustain mindfulness & productive days when we venture away from our daily environment? I'm a go-with-the-flow gal, but I'm realizing more and more, I'm effective with keeping my mind, body & spirit healthy when I stay committed to my practices that support this.  My most recent acting job landed me in Vancouver for almost two weeks, so it was important for me to feel my best and balance shooting days with exploring around the city a bit.

No matter where you're headed can I inspire you to take your courageous and curious mindset with you? Find what works for you and create a practice for yourself so regardless of where you are you have a few things you know will uplift you and inspire you to stay healthy. I've fallen in love with mindfulness as I travel. Between seeking out yoga studios, hikes, organic restaurants, peaceful areas for meditations, transit systems, socially connecting with friends and meeting locals... I'm excited to adapt and enjoy all that traveling can offer.  

Check out my quick (sped up) Get My Body Back #GMBB4 core series I did on the outdoor hotel patio as the sun was setting. As I incorporated this into my yoga flow, just being outside and in a different setting was energizing for my soul. 

A few stress relieving, mood boosting tips you can take anywhere: 

  1. Daily Gratitudes- I've explored writing them down, using my Gratitude 365 App, breathing them into my heart space as I meditate and mentally engaging with them to calm my mind as I want to drift into a peaceful sleep.
  2. Explore a new area- This can seem daunting when you don't know your way around, but let me encourage you to get out and walk, jog or bike. You learn the lay of the land and discover so much more than when you're in a car. Let yourself get lost... you'll find your way back. 
  3. Nutritionally take charge- Pack some of your favorite healthy snacks if you think they may not be accessible where you're headed. When options are slim you'll be happy you have them. Use Yelp to search healthy organic spots in your location. 
  4. Be Flexible- Accept that you will do your best but remain flexible as you trust yourself and the wisdom of your body, mind and heart to guide what feels right. This most definitely includes relaxing too!

A few of my favorite travel buddies are the magic bullet and vega protein packs. So even if I indulge in other areas I know that I can still get at least one healthy smoothie with vitamins and nutrients down the hatch each day. This saves me. My eko superlite manduka travel mat is another since it's light weight & foldable.

What are your travel tips with staying mindful? Do you have any for me? I love hearing from you guys.... feel free to comment and share if you read anything you like. Thanks for stopping by!

Inspired To Finish The Year Out Strong?

Happy Monday! Are you inspired to finish the year strong & healthy? Last call to join the 4th annual “Get My Body Back” by @TNHWomen. As one of your leaders watch for some INSPIRATION every Sunday right here, to soothe your sassy soul! 

Together, we're going to create more awareness and propel forward... MIND BODY & SPIRIT.

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

You're ready, push through that resistance! Shout it out, write it down, share it with a friend, comment here, I'd love it... what's one thing you want to change in your life that you know you'll benefit from? 

When you get honest with yourself, accept where you are and believe in your undeniable courage & strength to grow... You WILL be a better YOU! 

You're UN-STOP-A-BULL... Yes, you see how I did that? I hope you're smiling, let's have some fun. 

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

A Smoothie thats great for you and the planet

For all my get up and go pals out there....  do you want to start your day with a protein packed, nutritional plant based smoothie that's great for you and the planet? Quick, easy, filling and energizing is often what my schedule calls for when it comes to breakfast. Does this sound like you?  Vega is a sustainable company with several product options so take a quick look and see what may suit your needs best. Vega One Natural has been my choice and has proven to be my way to nutritionally kick start my day and feel great as I navigate through a physical and mindful few hours of teaching yoga and run around to auditions. Conscious decisions are necessary to stay on top of my health and the health of our planet. Can I inspire you do the same, you are deserving of it! 

Do yourself a favor if you don't have the NutriBullet, get one!  It's been the most functional, simple to clean, blend and go productd I've used. 

My most go-to vega one smoothie with all organic ingredients I love:

  • 1/2 cup or less of frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup or less of frozen raspberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 serving of vega one plant based protein
  • 1 teaspoon of fish oil
  • a shake of chia seeds, turmeric, cinnamon 
  • 1-2 cups of filtered water (thin to likeness) blend and go

Quick helpful reference from Vega Youtube:

One thing I found is that Vega One is loaded with so many essential vitamins and minerals I could do away with having to buy most of the other supplements I was taking.  Take the time to re-organize that for yourself, it's worth it. Our bodies can only absorb so much so there's no need to over-do it and you'll probably save yourself some money. 

Vega saved Erik and I as we traveled through India earlier this year. For those adventurers out there your vega doesn't have to stop when you travel and can really help you maintain nutritional balance during those times. We were limited with what we could travel with so we kept it simple by mixing a banana and bottled water with it daily. We felt awesome over our twenty days of travel and were thankful we snagged the magic bullet (smaller for traveling), a convertor and enough individual packs to supply us during our incredible journey. 

                                                  Our bannans of India

                                                  Our bannans of India

                                          Make'm look fun for you and your teens

                                          Make'm look fun for you and your teens

I hear people of all ages say time and time again, "I don't like to eat breakfast" or "If I eat in the morning then I'm more hungry later", I used to be one of them. I'm not getting anything to promote this, I simply just found something that my man recommended and in comparison to the other's I've tried, Vega has me feeling the best. I know I'll sustain energy, get vital nutrients, be able to focus and enjoy how delicious I can make them taste, not to mention doing my small part for the planet by supporting this product.  It's all a win-win! If you already love Vega, tell me about it, share some recipes you love! If you have anything else you'd like to share or have questions please leave in comments below! 

Click any of the links to find more information. Cheers to your health and you living to your greatest potential.... thank you for stopping by!