Blog Posts by Intent.com

  • How to Cultivate Gratitude Through Yoga

    By Monique Minahan

    lightOur yoga practice is a multifaceted gem. It's like a prism that reflects a different color depending on how the light hits it. Our practice can reflect back to us different emotions, feelings, or thoughts depending on how we approach it.

    Yoga can draw out parts of ourselves we know exist but have difficulty accessing at times, such as strength, flexibility, balance, trust, love, and gratitude.

    These are often physical traits we tap into on our yoga mat. Interestingly, we often find after practicing that we have access to them on a mental and emotional level as well.

    I first noticed this transformative quality of yoga while practicing backbends. The steadiness and strength they require revealed to me the power and the past housed in my back body. The more I allowed this opening process physically, the more I was able to allow myself to open more fully to the people in my life. Seeing this natural evolution, I started adding intention to the mix.

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  • Thinking Outside the Lunchbox

    By Monique Minahan

    With the long holiday break coming up, it's a great time to rethink what your kids are eating at school.

    The prevalence of childhood obesity has tripled among youth ages 6-19 in the past 30 years. Obesity that starts in childhood can extend into adulthood and can increase risks for a number of health problems.

    The National Institutes of Health has actively been addressing this issue since 2005 through We Can!® (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition). We Can!® is a science-based, national education program that aims to help children maintain a healthy weight in a number of ways.

    Whether you're looking for ways to add variety to your child's lunches in the new year or need ideas on how to start sending healthy foods to school that your child will eat, here's some suggestions on where to start:

    Go, Slow, Whoa. This catchy slogan from We Can!® makes choosing foods for your kids easy. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, so

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  • Create Healthy Holiday Habits One Meal at a Time

    By Monique Minahan

    cocktailsEver wondered why it's so hard to choose the carrots over the cookie when they're both right in front of you? We know the healthier choice, yet we often still make the unhealthy choice.

    Here's some "food" for thought as we head into the next round of holiday gatherings, dinners, and parties.

    Research shows that habits can develop from repetition and when an enjoyable event triggers the brain's orbitofrontal cortex, or "reward" center.

    This explains why bad habits such as smoking, overeating, or addictions to social media can be so hard to quit.

    Habits develop over time, whether good or bad, and change doesn't happen overnight. Once we've implemented a new routine, we need to continually strengthen our new habit because the old one doesn't go away. They both remain in our brains.

    Researchers have found that exercising self-control regularly can help improve our self-control over time. Becoming aware of our unhealthy habits is the first step.

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  • 7 Ideas for Heartfelt Homemade Gifts

    There's a lot of pressure during the holiday season to spend. Sometimes this pressure to spend overshadows the underlying intention to give.

    In these tough economic times, with many out of work and a bleak economic outlook, here's some ideas on how you can still give without always having to spend an arm and a leg.

    It really is the thought that counts, although retail stores would have you think otherwise. Adding a personal touch is a great way to dress up simple gifts and infuse them with heart!

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    1. Choose a book you know they'll love. (Old-fashioned ink-on-paper books are great.) Make a bookmark with ribbon and stock paper and add your own message to it. Wrap it in newspaper, old maps, or sheet music.

    2. Pair a small bottle of lavender oil (or tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil) with a few sticks of incense and a favorite rock or shell. Tie with twine or ribbon.

    3. Grab a few extra bottles of your favorite (inexpensive) wine and include a handwritten

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  • Modern Day Yoga Brings it Home

    By Monique Minahan

    Do you remember your first yoga class? It usually makes an impression.

    We are the fortunate recipients of an ancient practice that has traversed time and countries to land at our doorsteps, even at our fingertips.

    Whenever and however we practice yoga, we become part of a venerable, healing, unifying, honored tradition.

    And it's never been more popular than now.

    There's something irresistibly magnetic about yoga beyond its stretching and strengthening powers. I think it's the subtle power of a regular practice to transform, not only our bodies, but also our deep-seated attitudes and beliefs. On our mats we are able to tap into the inherent peace of mind we often lose track of through our busy days.

    Peace of mind. That's not something we often find at our local gym.

    True to its flexible nature, yoga continues to keep up with our changing times.

    While yoga was originally passed on from guru to student, in a sacred oral tradition, we find

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  • 5 Healthy Stocking Stuffers Under $25

    stockingsLooking for some simple, practical, healthy gifts to stuff your stockings? Here's our top 5 healthy stocking stuffers under $25. Throw in a cute reusable grocery bag and you're good to go!

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    1. Stackable Lunch Pot

    A vertical, airtight stacking system for lunch at the office or snacks to-go. The perfect alternative to plastic baggies or bulky Tupperware, and a great incentive to start taking your own healthy lunch or snacks to work come January 1!

    2.Wakaya Perfection Ginger Powder

    A perfect sampler size and one of the healthiest, most versatile gifts you can give this year. Print out one of these great recipes and include it with the ginger. It's hard to go wrong with a gift that made Oprah's list and the New York Times!

    3. Citrus Zinger

    Infuse your bottled water with lemons, limes, or oranges and get an extra boost of Vitamin C on the go!

    4. Zen Salt Cube

    This beautiful Himalayan salt cube turns everyday cooking into an art. Grate finely over

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  • 3 Myths to Dispel About the Brain

    By The Chopra WellScreen Shot 2012-12-11 at 12.22.52 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-11 at 12.22.52 PM

    What if we could improve our memory, reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and keep our brains young with just a few simple mindfulness techniques?

    Deepak Chopra recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show discussing memory and the brain. With the recent release of his new book, Super Brain, co-authored by Harvard neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi, there has been a lot in the air about the connection between the mind, aging and brain health. Deepak and Rudy discuss some key themes from the book, including memory, love, and sleep, on The Chopra Well series, SUPER BRAIN.

    As it turns out, we have more of a say in the strength and resilience of our brains than we may have thought. Here are three myths to dispel before we can harness the power of our "super brains." If we can wrap our minds around these, then we are off to a great start.

    Myth #1: Over the course of our lives, our brains continuously lose cells that will never be replaced.

    Truth: We do lose brain

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  • 8 Inspiring Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

    giftsThis holiday season we've rounded up a few of our favorite things to share with you, in hopes you might share them with others. Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice, these items are sure to inspire you and your loved ones this holiday season.

    Remember, the best gifts are not always the most expensive. It's the thoughtful, personal, and heartfelt ones that get remembered.

    So grab your shopping list, a cup of tea, and settle in!

    *****


    1. Art of AtArt of Attentiontention

    For the avid yoga student or teacher, this stunning, thoughtfully crafted book is the creation of Elena Brower and Erica Jago. More than just a coffee-table piece, it's an inspiring workbook for creating your own practices or taking your teaching to the next level.

    2. Jewelry

    For the person who brightens up with a little sparkle, these are our favorite jewelry pieces with lots of meaning behind them.

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  • How Ginger Can Help You Get Fit

    For many of us, the first images that come to mind when we think of ginger are of sushi or gingerbread cookies. We may not realize what a powerful cleansing agent ginger can be for our bodies internally. Ginger root, in its natural form, has antibacterial, antifungal, an anti-inflammatory properties, which means it's great for keeping our intenstines healthy and for healing illnesses and imbalances.

    Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine to treat everything from diarrhea to asthma to nausea to arthritis. It can also help to alleviate pain and reduce joint swelling without the side-effects of over-the-counter painkillers.

    To learn more about the role ginger can play in fitness and health, we spoke with fitness model and health expert Owen McKibbin. Owen is a widely respected voice in the wellness industry and has graced the cover of Men's Health Magazine 19 times! He is also founder of McKibbin Fitness - a unique online personal training site that has workouts for every

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  • Fact Vs. Fiction: The Truth About Fair Trade

    By Monique Minahan

    My local coffee shop sells Fair Trade coffee. I love their coffee, but for a long time never gave much consideration to what that really meant. I knew it was "good," but I wasn't sure why.coffee beans

    Fair Trade is a term we often hear thrown around when it comes to coffee, tea, produce, and even diamonds. What does it mean, though, and how much difference does buying Fair Trade food and products really make?

    Products that are Fair Trade Certified meet specific labor, environmental, and developmental standards. The certification system covers a number of products, and the list continues to grow. Fruit, cotton, vegetables, and wine are a few main ones, with coffee and tea leading the pack in Fair Trade Certification. Certifying precious gems is being looked at closely, preceded by companies specializing in conflict-free diamonds, such as Brilliant Earth.

    Fair Trade has been in the works for quite some time, but a major breakthrough happened in 2001, when USA

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