Sunday, June 13, 2010

What is Wellness?

Though many think of wellness as a word that references physical health, it is more accurately defined by a blend of spiritual, mental and physical health. Neglecting any of these areas leaves one vulnerable to un-wellness. Wellness comes from a balance and centering of our body through all the elements that make up good health.

More literally, the art of wellness is created by maintaining proper diet, exercise, and habits.

Before we begin to discuss the aspects that create wellness, it is critically important that you understand that we are all individuals. Despite similarities, each human body is unique and has unique needs. Keep in mind that you are the only one in your particular body; therefore, you are the only one who will know what your body needs.

Eating for Wellness...

What happens if you put sugar in your gas tank instead of fuel? No matter what your answer, I'm sure the outcome is not optimum efficiency. Likewise, what you put in your body as fuel, directly impacts how your body will run. The food you eat will determine how able your body is to regenerate on a cellular level. Therefore, one of the 3 pillars of wellness is maintaining a proper diet.

One's diet should be made up of unprocessed, whole foods - organic if possible. It is incredibly important to avoid artificial ingredients and preservatives as they tend to overload our bodies and build up in the tissues. Choosing organic foods will help you to avoid these ingredients as well as exposure to persistent chemical pesticides. Not only that, it will help you to avoid ingesting untested GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Regardless of what else you eat, it is essential to eat fruits and vegetables each day. In fact, at least 60% of your diet should be made up of plant foods. That is approximately 2-4 servings of fruits and 4-6 servings of vegetables each day. Be sure to vary your choices - ideally you are looking to eat all the colors of the rainbow each day.

While your body utilizes fruits and veggies for regeneration and cleansing, it needs protein for building material. Adults weighing 130 pounds require 48 grams of protein per day. Pregnant woman and children, as well as athletes, need more protein each day to assist with growth and development. There are 9 essential amino acids that make up a protein - vegetarians be sure to include each of these daily. Although I advocate eating a vegetarian diet that minimizes use of soy and animal products, if you choose to dine on the flesh of other creatures choose to buy organic, free-range meats.

The final piece of a proper diet is the inclusion of carbohydrates and fats for fuel. Make your carbohydrate choice those of the complex variety: whole grains and legumes are fantastic. Minimize (or better yet, avoid) refined complex carbohydrates such as potato chips and white bread. Complex carbohydrates are vital! They assimilate slowly and have a less drastic effect on blood sugar levels, they are less processed and include other nutrients (fiber, protein, fats, viamins, minerals).

Using Your Body...

You can eat all the fresh organic foods you like, but without exercise wellness will still evade you.

The benefits of exercise are well documented and should not be underestimated. The body, if not used, will eventually stiffen and age. Rather than exercise wearing out the body, it revitalizes and rejuvenates. Exercise means movement. Movement is energy. Energy is life. A simple enough statement, but a regular exercise program can be one of the hardest things to implement into your health program.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Bike to work, the grocery store, or somewhere else. Just pick something you do regularly and you will have regular exercise.

  • Take a hike! Not only do you get exercise, but you get to play in nature.

  • Take a yoga class.

  • Watch kids and implement what they are doing into your own life - jumping on a trampoline, building a fort, playing tag, etc. These are all great ways to move your body.

Personal Habits...

With a proper diet and a great exercise program under-way, one must also cultivate positive habits to be truly well.

Getting a good night's sleep is as essential as eating your fruits and vegetables. This is the time during each 24 hour cycle of the sun, that the body rests for several hours at a time. This time must occur for your body to properly regenerate and for your mind to process. Studies conducted by the Harvard Medical School and the Lab of Neurophysiology at the Massachusetts Health Center show that skills and new factual information may not get properly encoded into the brain's memory circuits without adequate sleep. It is suggested that there are two stages during sleep (one in the beginning of the sleep cycle and one at the end) when the brain undergoes physical and chemical changes whose interactions may be what strengthens the memory traces. Thus, for those who do not get a full-night's sleep, they may be cheating themselves out of fully processing what they've learned.

Limiting intake of known toxins is also critical to good health.

  • Quit smoking!

  • Eliminate, or at least minimize, alcohol consumption

  • Be aware of lead and other heavy metals in your environment and take proper precautions.

Furthermore, learn to manage stress. Stress amplifies and is sometimes the cause of un-wellness. There are many ways to help your body in better dealing with stress, here are a few ideas:

  • Diffusing essential oils into your home space or office

  • Regular yoga practice

  • Deep breathing (do not underestimate the power that breath holds)

  • Spend time with animals

  • Enjoy life and remember to smile.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief introduction to wellness. I could speak endlessly on this topic. If you desire more information on any of the topics I've mentioned here please ask. You can also set up an appointment with me by emailing

Thanks for reading & be well!

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese phrase consisting of two words: "Rei" and "Ki". Rei means univeral, spirit, ghost, soul, in the heavens. And Ki means spirit, the vapor, life energy, aura. (Ki holds the same meaning as chi in Chinese, prana in Sanskrit, and ti or ki in Hawaiian).

When you put the two words together you get Reiki which can be translated as the universal energy and the personal energy meeting in one place.

I am a First Degree Reiki practitioner. This gives me the ability to do hands on sessions for myself and for others. Furthermore, I can provide healing Reiki to plants and animals, as well as increasing the life force energy in food, water and medications.

A Reiki session is similar to a massage session. One sits comfortably in a chair or lays upon a table and the practitioner provides therapeutic touch. Typically, this does not include the physical manipulation of the tissues, but does include energetic healing via touch.

Reiki can be described as a relaxation technique. Since 90% of illnesses are attributed to some form of stress, the relaxation benefit of Reiki is highly useful in the process of healing.

If you would like more information or desire to experience a session for yourself, don't hesitate to email me at

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Welcome to Balanced Wellbeing

Hello and welcome to Balanced Wellbeing,

I am Angela L. Laurita: Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and general food lover.

I have been intrigued by holistic approaches to wellness most of my life; studying wellness modalities since the age of 16. I have learned much through self-teaching and employment with Whole Foods Market. I received my Wellness Coaching Certificate in March of 2010 from The American School of Healthcare Sciences (formerly known as Australasian School of Healthcare Sciences) in of Portland, OR. I was attuned to the first degree of Reiki on February 21, 2010 by Abigail Turner, RMT in Golden, CO.

Within the content of this blog, you will find my advice for creating a healthier you. I will start by creating awareness of holistic options for what I feel are the most common ailments - issues that I am most frequently asked to advise upon. I will also try to keep things seasonally relevant. If there is something that you'd like me to speak on, please ask.

I am a true believer in the healing power of nutritious diets. Therefore, a piece of each entry will discuss the role of foods. Furthermore, I will provide recipes from my very own kitchen. I love to make food and teach people the joys of eating good food.

I am located in beautiful Boulder, CO. If you would like to schedule and appointment with me, please email me at

Check back often and be well...

Angela L. Laurita