2018 Strong In Mind, Body & Spirit

Happy New Year from NORWAY! Isn't the start of a new year the biggest breath of fresh air?  I hope you've all relaxed, reflected and thought about what 2018 is going to look like for you; mind, body and spirit.

Inspirational Addict Lifestyle blogger Andrea Bogart, Yoga Instructor, new mom with Erik Almas

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 out of LA that provides the members with a guide book and I believe, soon to be publicly available. 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 joy, 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 2018 together with enthusiasm, can I inspire you to fill it with gratitude and intentions in any form that serve you well? 

Sonoma Yoga Instructor, Inspirational Addict Lifestyle Blogger Andrea Bogart, new mom, health and wellness with Erik Almas in Norway   

My yoga & meditation practices are other incredible tools that have changed my life. They have looked a little different since I've become a new Mom but I've not lost site of their importance or my commitment. My baby-girl is seemingly growing fond of being on her play yard while watching mamma stretch and meditating while I breastfeed is sometimes just the best I can do. 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! 

Norway Travels with Yoga instructor Andrea Bogart lifestyle blogger health and wellness love with Erik Almas

I'm wising you all so much love, light and happiness for a beautiful 2018. 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.

XOXO ANDREA

Essential Insight To Postpartum And Bundles Of Health

Questions about postpartum? Well, let me introduce you to Bundles of Health who had some questions for me...

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

When a smart group of Northwestern University Students launches a platform supporting the holistic health of mom's reaches out and say's we'd like some of your input... I say "how can I help?" Considering I love to write and have so many thoughts on being a new mom I want to share, their questions only helped propel me into getting information out to all of you even quicker. 

Why is health and wellness important to you?

Without health and wellness we have to ask ourselves, “what kind of life are we living if this isn’t important to us as individuals?” I would encourage it to be important to EVERYONE. I could go on forever about this… but in short; As I learn more about how nutritional food plays such a significant role in our mind, body and spirit health I challenge us all to take a serious look at how we care for ourselves. As a society, I wish we had nutrition, yoga & meditation courses throughout our education systems starting in pre-school through master programs that reached even the medical field more significantly. My personal journey has been transformative as a growing interest in the wellness industry had me asking questions about my value in the quality of life I was experiencing. Several years ago I fell into the pool of many, who get caught waiting until something is wrong to make changes. A scare with an auto immune disorder developing gave me great insight to how I could be living a much healthier, happier life. Curiosity and passions have led me to educate myself through literature, documentaries, courses, podcasts and even using social media as a platform to take better care of myself. I then ask, how I can pay it all forward? I want to live a long and vibrant life and I have control over the food I eat, how active I remain and the lifestyle choices I make to support that longevity I'm striving for. I hope to inspire others to do the same. Finding the recipe that’s right for you with things like; organic healthy food, yoga, exercise you enjoy, meditation and sleep are vital to our health and wellness. These important, quality of life elements often are the first thing we neglect and do not prioritize because we are too busy working or taking care of everyone and everything but ourselves. When we are living in a time where we are likely to die from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, I pray we honor the things we have control over and do our very best to live an abundantly healthy life.

 
Photo by Erik Almaa

Photo by Erik Almaa

 

While pregnant, did you think about how you would take care of your health postpartum?

I went into my pregnancy feeling great! I planned to continue on with my mindful lifestyle and listen for any adjustments that this special time might call for. I absolutely thought about maintaining this postpartum, with the addition of allowing myself to fully heal before jumping back into how physically active I usually am. My biggest concern was my emotional health. In my case, two months prior to our due date, I moved after living the past 17 years with a flourishing career and wonderful friendships in Los Angeles to Sonoma, California to settle into a quieter life with my fiancé. Moving in general is challenging not to mention doing it seven months pregnant with your new home under renovations. Leaving friends and my career naturally had me wondering how I would handle it all as I became a new mom. I mentally prepared with mediation practices at the forefront, focusing on all of it being a positive experience and how greatly our family would benefit from this decision. I was equally excited about the change so it made visualizing myself in a wonderful new environment that much easier.  Daily gratitude about it all still serves my mind so well. 

Not knowing what kind of birth experience my story would turn out to be also took some preparation. By about 35 weeks I referred to resources of what types of things would help your recovery period and made sure to have them at home ready. We also hired a doula who was an amazing guide during birth and gave great insight to what kinds of things we could expect and how she’d assist with postpartum. There are plenty of articles you read that can be scary as well so I chose to be aware, but not slip into a place of worry and anxiety. Most importantly I made a commitment that I would be very open about how I'm feeling as bonding with our baby girl and my loving fiancé took over our lives.  I’d continue eating healthy meals and ask for support with all the specific self-care I would need.  As independent as I’ve been, I trust that if there’s ever a time to really ask for help this would be it... and I do. 

It takes a village to raise a kid. How has your village helped you through both pregnancy and as a new mom?

So much support is necessary during pregnancy and as you become a new Mom. Having a village is crucial. I’m blessed with an incredible man who has tremendous communication and has fully supported my ever-changing emotions during everything so far. If I was to itemize the things he’s done since we found out we were having a baby to make this time so joyful and easier on me, this blog would be really lengthy. He’s present and helpful every step of the way. The only thing he can’t do is breastfeed if that gives any indication to everything he does to help out. I know how lucky I am with him. Both sides of our parents have come to visit since our baby girl arrived and been incredible with respecting our time for bonding and taken on house chores, making meals and grocery store runs. They’ve allowed us to be completely hands on with our baby and let us guide them when it’s ok to take her for a walk or hold and play with her. We are so grateful for Emerie’s Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and all they do for us. The support and guidance from girlfriends has been a delight. From paying forward baby registries, sharing lists that helped them and girl talk about the entire process has kept me smiling and pointed in the right direction if I’ve had questions. Two of my very best friends just gave birth right before me and we’ve had a ball sharing stories, tips, photos and the miracle of becoming new moms all together. Erik, my fiancé, and I had decided we wanted to do as much as we could all on our own and that hiring Kate Coletti, our doula would be the only outside help we’d have until we felt we really needed more. Kate is special and having gained our trust and a natural comfort upon meeting her we knew she was aligned with our needs in the birthing process and postpartum. I think the most magical thing about having her expertise is how she helped the bond between Erik and grow even stronger before, during and after we welcomed our baby girl. Her guidance has created an overall wonderful experience for us especially as questions or concerns arrive.     

Photos by Kate Coletti

Photos by Kate Coletti

EssentialinsighttopostpartumandbundlesofhealthJPG

 What’s the hardest thing about being a new mom?

For me it’s not so much about being hard, as it’s just full of adjustments. There is joy beyond words in being a mom and holding a tiny life that you created with another human. I always hoped to be a mom and with a partner like Erik, it makes it even more amazing than I knew it could be. Some of the adjustments that are challenging me are things like; the posture my body has taken on breastfeeding 24/7… it’s a terrible slump, I’ve tweaked my neck, my back and shoulders are suffering and since I’m slowly getting back to my yoga and everything I’m used to doing, I feel stiff and tight, not normal for a yogi. As much as I love slowing down and relishing in just holding our baby, I have to remind myself I’m not juggling work like I was and to just enjoy being a mamma. I’m a creative being though so I crave keeping that flowing but it takes blocks of time to focus and that isn’t always possible right now. Learning to trust your instincts and not google search everything you may have doubts about is something that I struggled with right away and thankfully has really settled now. You spend so much time with this little person you do just naturally have all the instincts together that help guide each other. And everyone does say sleep is the hardest… It’s no joke, I could feel myself whimpering like a 5year old some nights not knowing how I could sit up in this terrible posture and breastfeed one more time, but you see their sweet little eyes and face just communicating to you they're hungry and then you do and I can fall back asleep pretty easily so I have that going for me. I’ve felt more rested than I thought I would but I thank Emerie for that, so far she’s been a pretty darn good sleeper for us and we are the queens of naps. 

Photo by Mike Byrne

Photo by Mike Byrne

How could you see Bundles of Health being beneficial to new moms and the people who care about them?

There are not a lot of companies out there that are focused on the postpartum aspect of how to help mamas holistically in these new roles and I love that about Bundles of Health. I can see how a lot of mom's may not care for themselves the way they'd like to or perhaps once did when a baby arrives, as it is incredibly hands on and the hours can just drift by with loosing site of even the simplest things, like drinking enough water. Having a place where healthy, mindful gift packages are put together to send to a mom in need or for a mamma to refer to is so wonderful. I bet most mamma's out there would trade a $75 bouquet of flowers sent to them for an organic salmon dinner or an at home massage or even a snack pack filled with nutrient rich products any day. Offering a virtual doula is another resourceful component that I can see many new moms using. Many like me, don't have family living nearby and that's difficult at times, when you wish they could be closer.  When asked, "what can we do" or "how can we help",  I would love to refer family and friends to a place like Bundles of Health just as I would like to choose things from there to send to the mamma's in my life I can't be with. The convenience of giving mom's the Add To Registry button is handy as well. You have some wonderful items already listed that I have used during my pregnancy and postpartum. I think you're on a roll and have a beautiful business that will flourish. 

Andreas Most Essential Postpartum List

Thank you for stopping by and a special thanks to Bundles Of Health for reaching out to me and having me share some of my story & tips with all of you. Please check out their site and support one of the mamma's in your life. If you have any questions or comments for me, bring it on... I love hearing from you guys! 

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! 

Pinterest

Pinterest

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

 

 

HOW AWARE ARE WE?

Hi there lovelies, hope you're having a beautiful Sunday.

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

How aware are we I ask?  

We can be aware of the obvious things for sure; emotions we feel, our responsibilities, the routine of how we move through our days, food we eat, amount of exercise we get, what we tune-in to and tune-out, judgments we make on ourselves, energy we put out into the world… you get the idea. Do you ever wonder if you’re just going through the motions of life missing out on that deeper connection to your self-awareness? And even more importantly, how does your answer make you feel?

A few helpful questions to increase your awareness with the examples I listed above:

  1. Do you push away emotions or invited them in? 
  2. Are you enjoying or dreading your responsibilities?
  3. How present are you as you move through your day?
  4. Do you make food choices that support your health and goals?
  5. Is it important to you that you get daily physical exercise?
  6. What kind of environment are you creating for yourself? 
  7. Are you judging the choices you make with compassion or negative self talk?
  8. Would the people in your environment say you are kind, loving and joyful to be around?
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I truly believe, through our awareness it as just as easy to create wonderful, life changing habits as it is to fall into bad ones. It’s the desire to be aware that will dictate how much you enrich your life and strive for your greatest potential. We all want this don’t we? Take a moment to smile here and thank yourself for the awareness you have and trust that you are only going to expand and grow from here on out! 

Various circumstances and mainly excuses kept me from committing to a yoga practice many years ago and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to meditate. Sit still and be quiet, oh my... I couldn’t do that, that’s just weird unless I’m sleeping… would have been my inner monologue. When I landed in a yoga practice I loved, I began to lean-in to how I could expand my awareness and that uplifted me. Being a witness to the challenges I faced on my mat revealed the same challenges I had in life and I wanted to look at that. Yoga was becoming an emotional experience filled with vulnerability, happiness, resistance, letting go of ego, challenges, peace and a wonderful sense of increased awareness. Not to mention, keeping me in great shape. I fell deeply in love and made it a commitment I knew I had to share with others. 

There are days I’m extremely proud of my progress with being aware, present and connected and there are days I ignore my significant other as I create a social media post while I juggle car keys, grocery bags and getting the mail
— Andrea Bogart
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I love inspiring a mindful lifestyle in general and as a yoga instructor I have a responsibility to my students to encourage them to connect to their awareness.  My hope is that it propels each person to want to live a mindful life filled with happiness. Being an instructor doesn’t make me better, more self-aware or give me super powers but I see it as a beautiful gift that serves my life well and supports my core beliefs in the effort to practice what I share.  

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently
— Anthony Robbins

It's such a pleasure to sit and think and write about things I love and that helped me along the way. If it speaks to you in some way, comment or share something with me.... I love hearing from you guys. Have a blessed day filled with awareness! 

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!

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! 

MY MIND IS RIGHT WITH TMAC FITNESS

THE LOOKER by TMAC FITNESS

You ready?  You too can work out with TMAC FITNESS by founder, Todd McCullough, like I did to get one heck of a work out in just 20 minutes. Take a cruise around Todds' website and your interest in getting your MIND RIGHT will be effected instantly. Clear some space and give it your all for 20 minutes. We can all sweat, smile and feel like a bad ass together!

Take TMAC with you as he's curated some amazing fitness programs for everyone that can be done anywhere. He encourages opportunities to create a healthy lifestyle for the busy individual.... and who isn't busy these days? 

I was introduced to Todd a few years ago and he's been an incredible source of inspiration and wonderful human being to get to know.  After picking his brain a lot about how he maintains and continues to grow his fitness business and seeing how grounded and spiritually connected he is, I knew he was someone who would become a great friend. 

When Todd asked if I'd like to be in one of his 20 minute videos I jumped at the opportunity to work with him.  Creating an overall healthy lifestyle has been much of my focus the past several years. With teaching as much yoga as I do, I often neglect doing cardio and exercises that get my heart rate up on a consistent basis.  After shooting THE LOOKER I was inspired to work on my tush by incorporating more squats into my weekly fitness routine; like the 10/2 jump squats and single legged squats you see (and hopefully will try) in our video. 

I'm thankful Todd has been encouraging for me and is always connecting like minded people creating partnerships that compliment each other's work and aspirations. 

Know the WHY behind everything you do. I work out because it makes me better in every aspect of my life-it empowers me. I encourage you to think of your workouts with more of a holistic perspective. The physical results will happen because you are shifting your mindset from short term gains to an empowering lifestyle.
— Todd McCullough