Adaptogens ♡

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Hello Friends! I know that it has been a while since I have posted. I have been thinking about sharing this with you for a while. A few years ago, I discovered something that  really changed my life. 

I discovered ADAPTOGENS !!!!! Adaptogens are a herbal/plant medicine that protects the body from various stressors. You can think of adaptogens as ancient herbal medicines that have been used for hundreds of years from all over the world. There are many different types of adaptogens that focus on many different healing benefits, wether it’s anxiety, stress, focus, skin, hair and more. Today I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite adaptogens. 🙂

One thing that I would like to emphasize is that adaptogens are life changing but to see results it requires consistency and patience. I’d like to think of my relationships with adaptogens as life long. As cheesy as this sounds, taking adaptogens is a daily ritual for me. It is a journey and I find that different adaptogens are helpful to me in different seasons in my life. I wanted to share with you a few that have benefited my body and my life.

*I like to take my adaptogens with warm water and I drink them as a tea (I do not mind the taste). Some people mind the taste and add them into their smoothies, teas, soups and or coffee. 

Ashwaganda

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First, I will start with an adaptogen that many of you may have already heard of Ashwagandha. This is a great adaptogen to start off with if you are new to the adaptogen world. Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic medicine commonly used in India and in the Middle East.

Benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • Reduces stress hormones (cortisol levels)
  • Supports your immune system
  • Improves sleep
  • Shown in studies to have strong anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effect
  • Boosts longevity

I felt improvements after I was taking this adaptogen daily for several months. I mostly felt more calm and less anxious. When I feel really stressed I drink Ashwagandha and I feel as though my body recognizes this supplement and I instantly feel calmer. But remember! This is meant to be taken consistently.

Rhodiola

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As you can see it is also called the “Brain Tonic.”  When I first purchased Rhodiola I was studying a lot because I was in school and I had a lot of trouble focusing. I did my research and thought I would give Rhodiola a try. After using Rhodiola consistently for several weeks I really could tell that I was focusing a lot more during class, as I was studying for exams.

Benefits of Rhodiola:

  • Improves brain function (In a scientific study, Rhodiola reduced mental fatigue and improved performance on work-related tasks by 20%)
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Promotes stamina and longevity

Fun fact: You can find Rhodiola growing in the mountains of Europe and Central Asia.

He Shou Wu (One of my favorites)

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He Shou Wu is an ancient chinese herb (grown in Southern and Central China). I was first drawn to He Shou Wu for its hair benefits. I have inserted an example of a before and after photo of me after taking He Shou Wu consistently for several months. He Shou Wu is definitely one of my favorite adaptogens and I still use it in my routine.

Fun Fact: Ancient Story

When I was researching about this ancient herb, I read a few legends about the herb. The name He Shou Wu came from a man named Mr. Ho. When Mr. Ho was 58 years, a monk advised him to take an herb that was called  jiaoteng. After taking the herb daily his hair turned from gray to black, strong, long and healthy, his vision improved, and his body became more youthful. Some say he lived until he was 160 and died with black hair. Since then, the herb has been called Mr. Ho’s hair is black (shou = head; wu = black).

Benefits of He Shou Wu:

  • Hair growth
  • Boosts Libido
  • Supporting healthier longevity and aging
  • Helps reduce cholesterol
  • Nourishes blood, skin and nervous system
  • Said to turn gray hair back to its original color.

 

Here is a before and after photo of me (Before I took He Shou Wu on the Left and after taking He Shou Wu daily for 4-5 months to the right)

 

Look at the difference in my hair, my hair grew so quickly and it looked so much healthier, stronger and longer.

Ashitaba (Another one of my favorites for various reasons)

Ashitaba is a Japanese plant, it means “Tomorrow’s leaf” in Japanese. As I was researching about adaptogens I came across Ashitaba and decided to try it in Japan first. Since my mom’s side of the family is Japanese, I was able to purchase Ashitaba at a store in Japan. Unfortunately the brand isn’t sold in the states 😦 I also have the Ashitaba from Sun Potion but I prefer to use the one I bought in Japan. Now my grandma sends me Ashitaba every now and then.

I drink Ashitaba daily for many reasons, first being that I have anemia and I have really low blood pressure. Ashitaba is known to be a blood builder and is rich in b12. This is good for anyone with low blood pressure. Many vegans and vegetarians are also recommended to take Ashitaba because of its rich source in vitamin B. Another reason why I love taking Ashitaba is because it has done wonders to my skin. I have always had trouble with acne and this has helped my skin tremendously.

Benefits:

  • Rich source in Vitamin B
  • Improves skin
  • Helps you take regular poopies

 

There are many different brands that sell adaptogens, I would recommend to do your own research before purchasing adaptogens. I really like Sun Potion because they work with suppliers from all over the world to sell the best quality. Their ingredients are organic and clean and they never use ingredients that have been chemically treated.

These are some of the adaptogens I have used and that have worked for me. Please do your research before trying or purchasing anything. I am no doctor, I am just here to share with you what has helped me and I hope to inspire you to implement adaptogens into your life 🙂

Thank you for reading.

With so much love,

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Nara, Japan ♡

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As some of you may know, my grandma is from a city called Nara, Japan. During our visit to Japan we spent Christmas and New Years with my obaachan (grandma) in Nara.

I am posting this a year later (I don’t know why it took me a whole year to post this). I am not sure if anyone will see this post but I like looking back at my blog to see what I did and have done. It is a nice travel diary. I should start posting more 🙂

Fun Fact: Nara is the oldest city in Japan.

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Another Fun Fact: Nara is also known for their famous deer park.

The deer are really calm, they bow to you, they let them pet you and you can feed them little snacks that you can purchase there.

It’s always fun to go to the Deer Park also known as Nara koen (koen means park in Japanese). I have been going to this park all my life.

Please see old photos of me at Nara Koen below:

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Me and my ojiichan (grandpa in Japanese) when I was around 1 or 2 years old.

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My outfit was very interesting! haha I am not sure what was going on there

 

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Me freaking out about the deer with my aunt.

 

白骨温泉 (Shirahone Onsen)

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My obaachan (grandma) took us to an onsen town called  Shirahone Onsen which is in the mountains in Japan so there was lots of snow. (Onsen means hot springs in Japanese).

It was such a new experience for me, to be in an onsen outdoor in the middle of the mountains while it was snowing. To have shared this weekend with my family and my grandmother was so wonderful.

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The hotel we stayed at was so beautiful, I took a photo of these lights because I thought they were cool hahaIMG_5265

In hotels in Japan it is common for them to give you this yukata attire.

 

We later visited a town near Shirahone Onsen:

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わかやま (Wakayama)

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We went to a town called Wakayama, in Wakayama there is an umeboshi factory (pickled plum) which is my favorite thing in the world so my family brought us to Wakayama. Where we visited a Japanese temple and the umeboshi factory.

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This is my aunt (we also ate amazing ramen)

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Then we went to the umeboshi factory.IMG_5577IMG_5384

Later we went to eat kaiten zushi (which is sushi with the rotator belt)

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New Years (The Year of the Dog)

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In 2018, it was the year of the Dog ( funny enough the year that I was born was also the year of the dog and my grandfather who passed away was also born during the year of the dog).

In Japan during the first day of the year we go to the Jinja (temple) to pray for good things for the year to come.

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At the very bottom of the temple there was a huge fire place!

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Later that night we made sukiyaki which is an amazing Japanese hot pot dish.

Other Photos in Japan:

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My cousin used to work at an okonomiyaki shop so we went to visit him there.

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He made us these amazing Okonomiyakis.

 

My brother and I went to Universal Studios Osaka, we usually try to go every time we are in Japan. We always have the best time. I didn’t take too many photos but here a few:

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またね日本♡

(See you Japan)

With so much love,

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Yokohama, Japan ♡

Kimono ♡

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During my time in Japan, we went to Yokohama (a city an hour away from Tokyo) to visit my grandma’s friend of 55 years and her husband.

My grandmother’s friend Atsue handmakes kimono’s and she handmade me two kimonos.

They are so beautiful, one of the kimono’s is a yukata (which is a casual summer kimono) and the other kimono is a lot thicker with many layers and is used for formal purposes.

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This is the kimono used for formal purposes, look how beautiful this is!

This was handmade. Kimono’s are an art.

So beautiful, it makes me feel so proud of my heritage.

Kimonos are worn for many occasions, even during weddings, they have been around since the Heian Period in Japan which is from the year 794.

 

When wearing kimonos, their are specific ways you need to put on each layer. The kimono has to be wrapped onto your body a certain way.

(This is Atsue San, my grandma’s friend of 55 years and the lady that handmade me these kimonos)

Like I mentioned before there are many many many layers. haha

To the point where you feel stiff when walking around or sitting down.

This process takes a while, more than you would really think!

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Then finally ta-da!

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The Obi (the belt of the kimono) can be wrapped and tied in many ways.

This is how Atsue San folded my obi, this is very very difficult to do!

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This is Hirofumi San, Atsue San’s husband.

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My brother Andre and I.

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Hirofumi San, Atsue San and I.

Aren’t they so cute?! I call them my Yokohama Ojiichan and Obaachan (grandpa and grandma).

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Then, I tried the yukata (as mentioned before, the casual kimonos worn during summer).

This time my obi was yellow and folded in a bow, so cute right?!

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My family with Hirofumi San and Atsue San.

I cannot begin to thing how blessed I am to have been able to receive two handmade kimonos and to experience my Japanese culture in an even more traditional sense.

ありがとうHirofumi San and Atsue San ♡

 

Akarenga (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse)♡

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Akarenga also known as the Yokohama Red Brick House, is a place I have been going for several years because of family friends that have taken me.

Look how cute and festive it was for Christmas!!

Fun Facts:

  • Akarenga is a warehouse near the Yokohama port.
  • There are two brick houses, One is a museum and the other is filled with small shops and restaurants.
  • In 1911 the first Brick House was built and then later in 1913 the second Brick House was built.

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Taking selfies outside haha

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We went inside and did a little shopping ♡

and later had lunch inside the brick house, there are many restaurants in the brick house.  We ate at the food court.

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This was my yummy lunch, I had sashimi donburi (donburi which literally means bowl in Japanese) and miso soup.

yummy.

Cup Noodle Museum ♡

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We went to the Cup Noodle Museum and we got to make our own cup ramens!!!

 

Andre and I were so excited!!!

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To the left is Andre’s and to the right is mine 🙂 I put little narutos that had cute birds on them 🙂 (naruto is a cured fish).

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After making our cup noodles we got to put them in bags, so that’s me showing off the cup noodle I made, loud and proud 🙂 haha

Then on later floors they had the history of how the first cup ramen was made and it was actually a very educational and inspiring experience!

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I would recommend for you to go if you ever have time to visit Yokohama:)

Thank you Yokohama ♡

Yokohama is a city I have grown to love very much.

またね Yokohama ♡(see you)

With so much love,

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Tokyo, Japan ♡

IMG_3701My family and I were blessed to go on a trip to Japan . As some of you may know, I am half Japanese and my mom’s side of the family still lives in Japan! So we try to go visit often.

 

Sensoji Temple ♡

IMG_5137We began by visiting the Sensoji Temple, which is one of the most famous and oldest temples in Tokyo (Asukasa district).

IMG_5129Here is a photo of my brother & I in front of the entrance, as you can see this place is filled with many people and tourists!

IMG_5139As you begin walking into the entrance you are greeted by hundreds of little shops that sell osembe (Japanese rice crackers),okonomiyaki, chopsticks and millions of other things!

IMG_5140Look how beautiful! If you ever come to Tokyo, this the temple you should visit.

IMG_3869.JPGI took this cool photo of my brother at the temple and he later ripped his pants haha

 

Daikanyama – Flipper’s♡

IMG_5094Some of you may know that Daikanyama is a city in Shibuya (Tokyo) where I dream of living some day 😀

Daikanyama is filled with adorable cafe’s, clothing stores, restaurants and a million other things I could name off.

Cute stores, including this one we went to called Flipper’s, where they sold fluffy pancakes !!!!! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

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IMG_5120.jpgLook how fluffy and yummy this looks!!!

IMG_5126.jpgI want to go back and eat this right now!!

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IMG_5104My family and I had a great time 🙂

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Shibuya ♡

The next day we went shopping in Harajuku/Shibuya area. This behind me is a cute little van called espresso express and you can find them around Tokyo.

They are just parked in a little corner somewhere selling coffee & tea.

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We passed by Flamingo, which is Felipe’s favorite thrift store in Harajuku.

 

IMG_3814.JPGWe went to 7-eleven everyday and I bought onigiri mmmm.

For those of you who don’t know the convenient stores are different from other convenient stores you would find in the U.S. or in Europe etc.

They are filled with delicious fresh foods, including onigiri (which is a rice ball), yummy teas and drinks, cakes, and more!! I tend to spend hours in convenient stores in Japan. haha

IMG_3893Arigato Tokyo ♡, I will be coming back very soon! (and hopefully maayyybe to live their someday)

See you soon♡

with so much love,

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The Asian Magazine ♡

 

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I recently had the amazing opportunity to collaborate and write for the travel segment of The Asian Magazine May/June 2016 issue.

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It is a seven page spread of my experience to Japan with my boyfriend Felipe! Thank you to our sponsor Audley Travel a traveling agency that tailors your journey to fit just for you. Isn’t that amazing?! For more information, you can check out their website here- https://www.audleytravel.com

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Never in a million years would I have thought my name would be on the cover of a magazine. I am so thankful for this experience and I have learned so much! Thank you to Remi David for taking a few of the photos in my article. As well as Jane Luo and Mav Niu from The Asian Magazine! Also a special thank you to Miles from Audley Travel. An extra extra extra special thank you to Felipe for encouraging me and being a part of this whole process.  I am thankful to everyone who was a part of this experience.

If you would like a copy of this issue you can go to The Asian Magazine’s subscription page. Which is here- http://theasianmagazine.com/subscription

 

You can also check out their blog post for a few behind the scenes photos and a small part of the article- http://theasianmagazine.com/archives/675

All photos of me in this post have been taken by Lillian Seibert http://seibertlillian.wix.com/lsphotography

 

With so much love,

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Oak Cliff Film Festival (Made in Japan) ♡

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Last weekend I was able to attend the Oak Cliff Film Festival. I love watching independent films. So being able to go and support an independent film was exciting for me.

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As I was looking at the list of films that were being featured during the festival the title ‘Made in Japan‘ quickly caught my attention. (Obviously because I am half Japanese and have a huge love for Japan)

Made in Japan is a documentary about a japanese country singer named Tomi Fujiyama. Yes, she is a japanese lady singing country music. Isn’t that so interesting?!

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I felt this film was really relatable because I am a half japanese girl living in Texas! Texas is a state filled with country music and I never in my life imagined that country music  would ever be tied with a japanese artist.

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Tomi Fujiyama performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1964 alongside with Johnny Cash and many other legendary country artists. She was the only artist to receive a standing ovation that night.

Her dream was to sing at the Grand Ole Opry again. During the documentary she goes to america to try and perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Unfortunately due to the music industry being the way it is today the chances of Tomi performing at the Opry stage was almost impossible. You will definitely have to see the documentary to see if she ends up being able to perform at the Grand Ole Opry again!

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The film was so great because it really showcased Tomi’s hard work, fun energy, and beautiful spirit. It was so refreshing to see a true artist continuing her craft and being  true to what she loves.

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At the end of the film we were able to ask the writer and director questions about the film. It was very inspiring and interesting to listen to the writer discuss about the process of the film.

Made in Japan has already reached great success with interviews from Jimmy Kimmel to features in SXSW. 

Here is a video of Tomi Fujiyama performing-

I personally am not a huge fan of country music but when I listen to her sing I get a little emotional. You can sense her soul radiate from her music.

Made in Japan will be coming out sometime next year! If you get a chance to watch the film I definitely recommend it.

with so much love,

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Mamma Nappa’s Art Show Feature ♡

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My mom recently started painting last year.  Family, friends, and I noticed that she had a natural talent for art.

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Her artwork has been featured in art shows and  many people have bought and requested personal pieces from her. So she decided to start her own business. Which is already doing very well! It is really cool to see that she never focuses on the money or the business side of her art… she always focuses on her craft which is what a true artist should do. My mom always expresses that there is always room to grow and that she still has yet to learn. 

It is great to see that people believe in my mom and that people believe in her art so much that they are willing to purchase her work and even display her artwork in an art show.

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A few months ago my mom decided to submit three of her pieces into the Dutch Art Gallery Show. Which is a very difficult gallery to get into. Only the greatest artists in the Dallas area can get into this gallery and show.

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Not only did she get in but all three of her pieces were accepted into the show! Which is such a big deal!! We were so excited for her.

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It’s so beautiful and inspiring to see my mom going after her dream and using her talent! My mom has taught me that you can continue doing what you love at any age. To always work hard. To express your feelings and emotions through doing what you love. That there are no boundaries to what you want to do and learn in life.

If you are interested in some of my moms artwork you can view her instagram here- http://www.instagram.com/kaori.nappagallery

There will be a website made very soon.

So proud of you Mamma!

with so much love,

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