Health and Fitness

ALANA ATHLETICA: EMPOWERING ABUSE SURVIVORS THROUGH ETHICAL FASHION

  Today we chose to partner with Alana Athletica, a new start-up that designs and develops luxurious yoga-inspired active-wear made with a cause – to empower women abuse survivors. It all started with an idea, a desire to give back to deserving communities in underprivileged areas. Just a year ago, the team at Alana Athletica was traveling the world (with jobs in management consulting and fashion design) collecting new friends and experiences, but first-class travel, elite hotels, and expensive meals weren’t going to cut it for Chen, Az, Amanda, and Juan. Coming from different countries and very humble roots, the Alana team was convinced that their future efforts (both personal and professional) needed to serve a greater purpose – to give back, support, and empower o...

THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP IN YOUR LIFE: FOOD

  “Excuse me, what?” my mother confusedly responds to my kindergarten teacher who had just asked her (out of concern) whether I had been given breakfast that morning as I’d devoured an excessive amount of pizza at lunch and she was worried I wasn’t being fed at home. My mom replied that I had in fact eaten a breakfast large enough for a grown 200 lb man. My appetite has always been large yet when I was younger my body was quite small. I was always around the 16th percentile for height and even lower for weight so I didn’t put much thought into the food I ate. Like most kids in America I was living mainly off a diet of various forms of cheese: powder, canned, or sliced, without questioning anything other than the flavor. Like any other girl in 7th grade, things started happening. I was...

DITCH DIETS: 7 TIPS TO GAIN MORE CONTROL OVER YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

  Let’s face it, diets are fads and often yield short term results! So, why are we so obsessed with them? Most people will point to external things. Like the gorgeous models on the cover of magazines or the flawless actresses on the movie screens! But what if we looked inward instead and decided to take control of our own life? This is what happened to me. I began reflecting on my choices and consumption habits. What I saw prompted me to make immediate changes to my nutrition and lifestyle! Before I did this, I actually considered myself to be “healthy”. I worked out 5 days a week, ate healthy 75% of the time, and was a size 4. So, I should be happy, right? Wrong! I was relying on numbers to determine my level of health and happiness. And ultimately, I wasn’t h...

A LITERARY CRITIC’S TAKE ON ANOREXIA

  Six months ago exactly, I was 74.7 lbs, 6.6 lbs above my ultimate goal weight. My ribs popped out like little crescent moons; I couldn’t help but smile every time I saw them. Of course, I had to lose that last little bit of flab from my upper arms, but aside from that atrocity, I was actually–for the first time in my life–starting to like the way I looked. Each puffy, protruding vein, every visible spinal vertebra was a badge of honour; I was proud of my perfectly rectangular shoulder-blades, the gap between my thighs, the way my collar-bone stuck out, how it swooped across my chest like a seagull or a scythe. I was just a couple pounds away from being really, genuinely, truly happy… wasn’t I? ‘I’ is probably the wrong word here. In fact, from a literary-critical p...

HOW TO PREPARE FOR SPRING – WITH THE HELP OF AYURVEDA

I am definitely not one of those people who can naturally enjoy cold weather. Actually winter used to be the season of depression for me. Instead of enjoying the time with friends and family at and around Christmas I fell into depression – although I was still kind of functioning as I forced myself to – which was often accompanied by panic attacks. I always thought of winter as a period to survive and kept planning to move to a country with warm climate instead of trying to focus on the positive sides of the season and balance out the qualities I do not like about it. It is not a very positive way to look at life, is it? 🙂 The encounter with Ayurveda has completely changed my life and the way I think of my own likings and preferences. Finding out that I have a certain body cons...

DEPRESSION AND THAT SLIPPERY SLOPE

Maybe you need to go to a therapist, No, that’s for crazy people Well your friend goes But he’s depressed Maybe you are. That was the lasting conversation that will never escape my mind as I fought with my parents over my mental health and what I thought —at the time— was good for me. Many people would say that they live pretty well, average, happy lives. I mean I did, and I still do. But hey, I did go to therapy and considered crashing my car into a pole so who knows. The dark cloud over my head was small, and it didn’t seem noticeable until it engulfed me. I was a senior in high school who worked as the editor of the yearbook, worked for the school’s paper,  had a job as an instructor at a swim school, and managed swim team practice. This busy schedule had me going to school at 8:00 am, ...

NINE WAYS TO CUT CANCER RISK BY A THIRD!

If you took every piece of advice on ways to reduce cancer risk you would probably never eat anything and die of starvation. It seems everyone has a theory on what causes cancer and ways to cut the risk. So, who should we actually listen to and what advice should we take on board? The best advice can be sourced from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and currently they give 9 pieces of advice to reduce the risk 1/3 of all cancers! Here they are: 1. Keep your body weight within the healthy weight range. Based on your BMI (body mass index) this is calculated by weight and height. The healthy weight range is from 18.5-24.9kg/m². Although the BMI has limitations, like it doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass, it is still a valuable way to measure a healthy weight range in the general ...

SCALES ARE FOR FISH

How many times have you stepped on the scale and been devastated by the number you see? You wallow in sorrow, rethinking every food choice you’ve made for the past week. You begin to justify: well I’m bloated from my period, well it’s the end of the day and I’ve already eaten everything for today, maybe I need to poop, that you have no control. You decide that this number dictates your mood, your worth. Have you ever had the exact opposite experience? You step on the scale and become overjoyed by the number you see. You become excited, feeling that because of this number you are awesome, you are beautiful, you are more valuable, more desirable, in control of your life. The truth is you don’t have control in either of these situations: you are letting a NUMBER dictate your value. YOU decide...

DECIDING FOR MYSELF: HOW APPLYING TO YOGA TEACHER TRAINING CHANGED ME

I realize that at 20 years of age, I am by no one’s definition old. However, I often find it difficult to even consider that by societal standards I am an adult. There are probably multiple reasons for this, but I’m sure one of the largest is that I’ve made very few major decisions for myself. That’s not to say that my life is completed dictated by the will of others, but it could be said that I’ve never truly made a choice without first consulting someone else. That trend probably would have continued until I decided I wanted to become a certified yoga teacher. Yoga grew to be a passion for me at a slow pace. I had dabbled with the practice slightly throughout my high school years, but I never practiced regularly until my freshman year of college. I was alone at a huge school, I had very ...

300+ DAYS SOBER

300+ DAYS SOBER I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve. Since 2015. It’s November 27, 2016. That’s 331 days. I have some friends who say they couldn’t go that long without a drink. Some friends shrug their shoulders and admit that they could give it up. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a drinking problem. Due to some health issues, it’s just something that I can’t have right now. I’m not against it but I don’t miss it. Here are some thoughts on what it’s like to not drink for 331 days: You start to enjoy other beverages. Things like nitro cold brew coffee or La Croix or just plain water (with lemon). You enjoy your food a bit more. When you aren’t sharing the spotlight with a cocktail, you really taste your food differently. It’s hard(er) to be social. It’s not that I can’t handle not...

EMBRACE YOURSELF

EMBRACE YOURSELF The benefits of yoga have long been shared by yogic philosophers for centuries. Yoga gives us the opportunity to explore our inner abilities as well as our insecurities. It is a leeway for self-discovery and a medium for releasing thoughts that do not serve our higher self; thus releasing unnecessary baggage from our past, some semi-traumatic experiences, or negative thoughts of ourselves which we may be subconsciously carrying. Speaking with a caveat, my argument is that yoga does not change people. This may come as a shock since you have heard of people attending yoga to learn how to handle stress in their life or to reduce anxiety. Those same people now walk around high on life, wear yoga pants, and eat weird food. My point is that yoga does not change people but allows...

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FOOD FOR THOUGHT                   I’ve never written a blog, but I’ve always been an avid reader.  One topic I’ve always been compelled to talk about or discuss is food… that’s right, FOOD.  I’m not sure about anyone else but here recently I’ve been making some big dietary changes and trying to educate myself on what goes into my body—so I thought I’d share my experiences and hopefully pass along some useful thoughts to all the wonderful people of Harness. Lets make a long story short, I’ve never had any food allergies or problems of any sort until recently I was having the most insane stomach pain. Stomach pain turned to bloating, and not like normal girl bloated because we were all so blessed with menstrual cramps and what not, I mea...

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