Feb 1st

The Grounded Theory Blog

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Want to know what makes your skin glow? Here are some tips that you cannot ignore. Satisfaction is guaranteed.



  1. REDUCE CAFFEINE : One of the leading cause of premature aging, due to dehydrated skin.


  1. REDUCE ALCOHOL: Reduces Vitamin A in the blood – A crucial vitamin and Anti-oxidant. Alcohol also weakens capillary walls, leaving you looking flush and rosy. Lastly, too much alcohol damages the liver – reducing the body’s ability to detox naturally.


  1. STOP SMOKING: Nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin. It destroys elasticity increasing your changes of wrinkles.


  1. WATCH YOUR DIET: Poor skin is completely reflected upon your diet. A healthy diet encourages healthy skin cell regeneration.


  1. REDUCE SUGAR LEVELS: Sugar in your diet encourages the development of wrinkles. Sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin – connective tissue responsible for keeping the skin firm and supple. When sugar molecules bind to these it weakens them leading to early signs of aging.


  1. INCREASE WATER INTAKE: Not enough water changes the acidity of sweat on the skin and also dehydrates the skin promoting wrinkles.


  1. REST: Without sleep the skin is not able to rejuvenate itself


  1. BE ACTIVE: Promotes circulation and blood flow. Helping the skin cells repair damage and fight bacteria.


  1. LOWER STRESS: Psychological stress sends messages to the body to produces hormones that lead to breakouts and acne. Mental stress can also lead to psoriasis and Eczema break outs


  1. REDUCE SUN: A little sun daily in non peak hours is amazing for the skin and overall health of your body. When you over expose your skin to sun, it enhances your changes of aging and also exposes you to cancer causing UV rays.



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Dec 2nd

The Grounded Theory Blog

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Turmeric – The Mighty


Turmeric is GOLD – literally it’s quite valuable. A powerful herb used in the East way before the western World was awake to natural cures. Aside from many already known benefits, it really works magic on the female body, especially once a month if you are a woman in you’re 30’s I’m sure you get what I’m saying.


Hormones are usually in a dynamic state in the human body, mostly for women. External changes, internal changes and stimuli leaves the body in search of equilibrium. Shifting hormones to accommodate change. When women cycle through their monthly visits, the shift can intensify and sometimes make us feel off. Pharma companies make many options available to kill the pain or let’s say numb it. But there are options!


Let’s go back to Turmeric – and how beneficial it is to the female body. Here are some magical qualities that can really help you get through the rough moments.



  1. Turmeric is a Phyto-estrogen

A plant based herb that mimics estrogen in the body. It is said to play a therapeutic role in the female reproductive system



  1. It’s Antispasmodic

It reduces pain by reducing uterine contractions during menstruation


  1. It is Anti-inflammatory

Another pain reducing factor – that is non addictive and does not have side effects. Curcuma, a major constituent of Turmeric has the ability to interact with several molecular structures involved with inflammation. Turmeric also depletes the neurotransmitter responsible for pain


  1. It balances the hormones

It brings the uterus back to it’s normal shape and functioning. It also reduces hormone related acne. It is a powerful antioxidant that offers tremendous benefits to the liver – by regenerating it, allowing for production of enzymes. The body needs to produce enzymes in order to flush the system of toxins for adequate hormone balancing.


  1. It’s an emmenagogue

It stimulates blood flow to the pelvic area, purifying and normalizing menstruation.


What more can I say? This herb covers our needs full circle. Try it!


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Nov 21st

The Grounded Theory Blog

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*Gluten Free *Macro-Friendly *Vegan

This amazing recipe will boost your energy and immune system! Easy to make and will have you craving  for more. This recipe is packed with Electrolytes and minerals that will keep your cells hydrated and functioning efficiently! Try it 🙂

1 Scoop of Sun Warrior Protein

1 Banana

1/2 An Avocado

1 Tbsp of Honey

1 Tbsp of Your choice of Nut Butter

Add 1/2 Tbsp of Raw Cacao

Top with Coconut water

Blend in a Mixer

Top with Cinnamon & Turmeric



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Sep 28th

The Grounded Theory Blog

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How To Keep Your Energy Space Negative Free.



In my perspective I believe that there is a strong attraction between negative and positive energy. Think about it, on a molecular level – Ions are naturally drawn to each other to form an end product. This same theory can apply to us – humans. We are essentially made of a combination of these ions, and our body finds ways to maintain homeostasis or, balance.


We are energy picking up and releasing these charges in our every day life. Negative people are attracted to positive people and vice versa. It is easier to find the negative angle of a given situation than it is to find a positive one. We have self doubt or perceive a scenario to be what it wasn’t because of our insecurities or conditioning. But the more we create these scenarios for ourselves, the more we attract the same outcome. So in essence, we are in total control of how our outcome turns out.


Practice this, when you question the outcome of a situation – make a strong attempt to believe wholeheartedly that it will go your way. Know it, say it, see it. The law of attraction says that “like attracts like” meaning that if your create only a positive space for yourself then it can really only go one way.


Here are some ways that you can help create this energy in your life.


Smudge your space.

Smudging or burning has been a part of human evolution for years. Historically, smudging was used as a means to ‘cleanse’ the space – no literally. Smoking a space helps to kill pathogens in the air and so before all these crazy cleaning products that have now surfaced, this was one way to keep a space clean. Smudging has evolved in not just clearing pathogens but also cleansing a space of energy. Think of it this way – we as humans came evolved from a more natural habitat. We lived in nature and so burning was a more common way to prepare meals and keep us warm. Wood is alive and we are connected to every part of nature. Ever notice how you feel when you smell burning wood? Maybe it reminds you of being in the outdoors and camping but never-the-less it does bring a feeling of grounding and calm. Daily smudging with sage or Palo Santo can be a really great way to set the tone for a positive day!


Keep plants.

Having plants around you can be very grounding and detoxifying. Plants clean your space by picking up on CO2 and releasing Oxygen. By having plants in your space, you create an atmosphere where negative ions are released creating a more balanced space for yourself. Plants help us feel grounded, balancing out our possibly hectic life and bring us back to a place where we belong – nature.


Self Care is Sacred.

Taking good care of yourself is crucial to staying positive. Some of us have the habit of putting out energy beyond our natural capacity. Emptying the vessel with no recharge is dangerous. Create rituals for yourself that you can practice daily or even weekly. This doesn’t have to cost money, it can be very simple – like taking a bath every Sunday with nice essential ois, indulging in good chocolate once a week, having your favorite tea every morning or buying nice linen or a decadent body cream. You can keep it simple. Or take a day to yourself once a week and give yourself the permission to do what ever you feel like once a week without feeling pressure or guilt. In order to give love, you must first love yourself deeply.


I can give more advice but the most important thing I can say is this. Keep a positive mind. If someone disturbs you with an action or behavior – let it go. Don’t think about it, engage in it or pursue any form of reaction. The longer negativity stays in your energy space, the stronger it will become and the more it will grow and manifest. Know this, every experience we have whether good or bad serves a purpose. We can learn about ourselves and we can also learn about the situation and how we approach it the next time we are confronted with it. Look for a chance to grow from it.


We either win or we learn.


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By: Alessandra de Oliveira


Laya Spa & Yoga



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Sep 23rd

The Grounded Theory Blog

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5 Reasons Why You Should Move Through

Sun Salutations In The Morning



Spine Circulation & mobility

Lying down for an extended period of time can wreak havoc on small supportive muscles that keep us erect. Why? Because while we sleep little or no movement decreases blood flow & circulation to muscles and body systems. Doing light movement and sun salutations in the morning can help to warm up the spine in a very gentle way – increasing blood circulation and mobility of the vertebral joints.



Healthy Breath

In India they call it Pranayama – Prana is vital life force energy. The true essence of life. Breath work evens out and strengthens our lung capacity. Our stressful lives call for light shallow breath, reducing the amount of oxygen to our cells which reduce their capacity to function at an optimal level. All of this will eventually lead to degeneration, slow metabolism and illness. Breath work improves our strength on a cellular level leading to an overall healthy body. Not to mention that deep breathing also reduces stress and encourages healthy thinking.  Integrating this practice can really improve your mood for the remainder of the day.



Muscle Flexibility

A routine morning stretch can really help to keep muscles and joints mobile and flexible. Doing simple stretches can improve muscle tissue around the hip and shoulder – common target areas of tightness. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can shorten some muscles and elongate others – creating an imbalance between muscles that essentially work together to produce healthy and balanced movement in our every day. Dedicating some time to stretch muscles will help to stave off further imbalances that can lead to more severe health concerns.



Increased Metabolism

Working out first thing in the morning, preferably before eating will help you burn fat faster. Doing this will also help burn calories at a faster speed throughout the day (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). In order for the body to achieve homeostasis during cardio, the respiratory & cardiovascular systems must work harder to maintain an internal body temperature and homeostasis (balance). The release of these oxygen molecules to the cells increase cellular metabolism, therefore helping to burn more calories and at a faster speed.


Creating Rituals

The Indian culture has many different morning rituals. I believe that having a dedicated ritual or routine for yourself is very healthy. Why? Because it is space that you have created for your self, for self care, for self love. Beginning your day in a peaceful space that you have created for yourself establishes a safe ground or building block to your life. Rituals bring aware to not only our personal needs but also our boundaries.


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By: Alessandra de Oliveira

Owner / Director

Laya Spa & Yoga

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Sep 19th

The Grounded Theory Blog

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5 Natural & Simple Ways to Stave off Migraines


Drink Coconut Water

Coconut water is not only hydrating and thirst quenching, it is also rich in electrolytes. Drinking coconut water can replenish essential minerals like Magnesium & Potassium – work together to keep the body in a safe and healthy. Potassium helps to regulate water balance between cells and body fluids. Magnesium helps to regulate muscle and nerve function, balance blood sugar levels and serves us in many other beneficial ways. Depending on your trigger, mine usually being dehydration – or too much sugar intake. The combination of these two in coconut water is a safe way to replenish low mineral levels.


Wear an Amethyst – Directly on the skin

Yes. I said it. Natural Quartz Crystals. Amethyst, renowned for massive healing properties – helps with sleep and insomnia, helps with focus and concentration, helps with intuition. Aside from all of this, the cool stone also helps to keep the body temperature regulated. Some people get migraines due to increased inflammation in the body, keeping cool will help reduce inflammation lowering your chances of aggravating a migraine. Along with other health benefits, crystals emit energy – passing all of the benefits to the body.




Cooling the skin – back of the neck, top of the head, on the forehead, upper back – all targeted areas of muscle deferring pain. A buildup of muscle tension can result in tension migraines. Place a cold gel pack wrapped in a cloth over areas that feel sore or tight. Your body has an unique gift of telling you where the pain starts if you tune in. Neck, back and shoulders seem to be the more tense areas of the body – due to our unavoidable computer posture. Listen in and start icing. Ice for 20 min max and give it a little rest before icing more.


Lavender Oil

One of the toughest things to do when a migraine is present is sleeping. It’s almost impossible to rest when we feel pain. Lavender oil (pure not fragrant oil) is extremely helpful to calm the energy  – it is a sedative and very soothing. Dab some lavender on your chest & neck and float away into lala land. As a result of resting and calming therapeutic essence – the nervous system relaxes, helping to reduce tension in the muscles and nerves. Sometimes, all we need is sleep!


Cold Bath Dips!

I’ve suffered from Migraines since I was 12 and I had no idea this one would work until suddenly while taking a soothing bath I ran out of hot water. So I kept my body in the warm water and proceeded to wet my scalp and neck with cold water. The ice cold water helped to draw blood away from my head toward my feet. It worked like a charm! Alternatively, if you soak your feet in hot water while applying a cold pack on the back of your neck, this is also very effective.


Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 11.40.04 AMBlog by : Alessandra de Oliveira

Laya Spa & Yoga




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Jul 6th

Summer Skin: Sunscreen Mania

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It’s summertime, and there’s not many things I love more than to sit in the sun and enjoy the warm rays. And if you’re like me, you probably can’t wait to lounge out on your back porch or nearby patio and kick back.

You would think that applying SPF on your skin means healthy protection, and it should make you feel like you’re doing something good for yourself. However, sadly this is not always the case. Toxic sunscreens can be counter-productive with some dangerous side-effects. I’m not sure why these not-so-protective sunscreens even exist. These particular sunscreens that you find in your drugstores have been linked to birth defects, cancer, and other health issues.

Wearing SPF is important to protect your skin from sun damage, however just like you still tan with sunscreen on, you still damage your skin because tanned skin is damaged skin. Even though a tan may look nice, you want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it because you may not see the effects until much further down the road. For example, when you burn your nose as a child, freckles may not be apparent until years later because the skin is being damaged at a deeper cellular level.

Here are some all-natural ingredients with SPF properties to help protect your skin:

Red Raspberry Seed Oil – SPF 28 to 50

Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 38 to 40

Wheatgerm Oil – SPF 20

Non-GMO Soybean Oil – SPF 10

Avocado Oil – SPF 4 to 15

So, what to do if you already have hyper-pigmentation (sun spots) that you want to be rid of?
Exfoliating products will be your best friend as they remove the surface skin layers and speed-up cell turnover revealing fresh healthy skin. Just be careful that once you’ve achieved your skin goals via exfoliation, don’t forget to continue to protect it from the sun.

Here are some brands/products that I’ve come across that have impressive benefits for the skin and offer sun protection:

Demalogica – we carry this product in SPF 50 at Laya


Elta MD


Enjoy the summer while it’s here!

Until next time,
Vanessa XO

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May 2nd

Quick Tips – Ayurveda

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Here at Laya we use our guest’s Ayurvedic Dosha to evaluate their skin care needs.

Dosha’s are a human’s attributes divided into three different body types; according to the traditional Ayurvedic style of healing one’s body.


The most common dosha to be pre-dominant in is Pitta. The skin is sensitive to inflammatory responses such as redness, rashes, acne, psoriasis and rosacea. The skin is also commonly combination, however, it can sway to either dry or oilier types. Pitta skin can feel warm to the touch and needs cooling to balance it out.

  • Balance the skin so that it is neither oily or dehydrated.
  • Use cooling and soothing ingredients to balance the skin’s temperature.
  • Use redness reducing/anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Some of your best go-to ingredients:

Jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, chamomile, calendula, lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, evening primrose oil, ginger, red raspberry, turmeric, and sandalwood


Vata skin tends to be the thinnest with the tendency to feel dry. The pores are almost invisible; however premature aging can persist if one does not treat it accordingly. With good skin care we can treat the lack of natural oils to prevent the common issues like: fine-lines, wrinkles and dehydration. Vata skin can feel cooler to the touch and needs good stimulation to activate the skin’s natural oils.

  • Deeply moisturize the skin
  • Use warming oils to stimulate the skin
  • Use regenerative ingredients to stimulate collagen

Some of your best go-to ingredients:

Almond oil, sesame oil, rose, frankincense, carrot seed oil, rosehip oil, honey, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, seabuckthorn berry and hyaluronic acid.


Large pores are one of the main features of Kapha’s cooler skin type. An imbalance of the skin can lead to excessive oiliness, blackheads and cystic acne. However, Kapha skin tends to age the best because of its own ability to constantly protect the skin with moisture. The key is to balance the oil production and detoxify the pores.

  • Balance the skins sebum
  • Use warming ingredients that stimulate and detoxify
  • Deeply purify the pores

Some of your best go-to ingredients:

Cinnamon, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, lavender, thyme, rosemary, neem, eucalyptus, tea tree, green tea, aloe, kaolin and charcoal.

Hopefully these tips help you discover what works best for your skin. Also, come by to the spa for a Shankara or Ayurveda facial so that myself or one of our other lovely estheticians can help you prep your dosha for this summer.



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Mar 3rd


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It’s March and spring is near! For most of us, winter can be a tough season on our skin, so let’s take some time to focus on our body’s largest organ.

Let’s face it, our skin deals with a lot: pollution, stress, sun damage, fluctuating hormones, pesticides, and so much more. Most of these lifestyle conditions are costing our cells their lives.

I’m sure that you’ve already heard about the importance of antioxidants, but they really are the key to our healthiest skin at a cellular level.

Say what?!

For those who aren’t familiar with antioxidants, here is what they do:

Antioxidants are the result of compounds from certain foods donating electrons to counteract free radicals.

Free radicals are singular electrons that latch onto other electrons on other cells and provoke a chain-reaction of free radicals damaging cells.

It’s all science, peeps.

 4 ways to incorporate more antioxidants into your lifestyle to fight all ranges of skin concerns, from aging to inflammation and acne

  • Choose a chemical-free sunscreen (like zinc-oxide or titanium-dioxide based sunscreens) that come with antioxidants. This is a beauty two-in-one option that combats damaged skin cells and prevents further damage.
  • Supplement Liposomal Vitamin C. Liposomal supplements encapsulation protect the nutrient from digestive enzymes and improve the absorption of the vitamin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for hundreds of bodily functions such as healing wounds, development of healthy bones, and metabolizing proteins and fats. Some other great antioxidant supplements are: Glutathione and Pcynogenol.
  • Consume a handful of blueberries daily (in smoothies, on cereal or straight-up from the box). New evidence has shown that muscle damage after an overdone workout can be reduced through consuming these antioxidant rich berries. Blueberries also help to balance blood sugar and protect the digestive tract.
  • Buy organic whole foods. Pesticides kill the pests by developing free radicals. They are causing the same reaction in our bodies as well.

If you want to read more on this, click here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Be well and anti-oxidized! XO

Vanessa Kamevaar

Holistic Nutrition Coach


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Feb 3rd

Love Yourself

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5 Ways to Practice Self Love

February, The month of LOVE <3
And no I’m not talking about romance here – we’re talkin Self-Love.


Eat Healthy

Food is how the body gets nourished. It is directly correlated with our health. Spending a bit extra on healthy, organic food is worth it because you deserve it. At the end of the day what matters the most is that you are feeling good because you are taking care of yourself.

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  • Purchase organic produce
  • Eat those greens!
  • More fresh smoothies
  • Cut down on meat, processed foods & dairy
  • Eat complex carbs instead of simple carbs (click here if you don’t know the difference)


Treat Yourself

Again – you deserve it…
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Yes, treating yourself to a tasty dessert can feel rewarding, however try to look for dessert that have other nutritional benefits. Eating pure sugar and empty calories will only lead to headaches, tummy aches and other unwanted side-effects, which will only make you regret your decision later. That’s not really treating yourself after all!

Sweeten up your mornings by adding chocolate chips with oats (find ones made with stevia – which is a plant-based sweetener). Here is a link to my favourite vegan choco-chips. Try baking sweet potato fries for dinner and dipping them in hummus.

Treat yourself to a chocolate banana and peanut butter smoothie (using raw cacao powder and organic PB).

You get where I’m going with this…


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Maybe this means taking a long bath with some candles,lavender oil and a glass of redwine or maybe it means booking an appointment for a massage. Whatever it takes to wind-down and give yourself some quality “me” time – do it!Let’s say once a week this month you do something for you that makes you feel chipper and rejuvenated.

Let Loose

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You’ve been working hard lately and (even if you haven’t) you are entitled to a good time. So if that means hitting up the dance floor with some friends or catching seats at a Raptor’s game, don’t hold back from expending some of that energy. Why don’t you dive into your creativity and take on a new instrument or DIY craft? We all need our outlets, so take some time to slow life down if it’s moving too fast. Let’s listen to our buddy Eckhart and live in the NOW.


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This is probably the nicest thing you can do for yourself. If you are not already doing consistent meditation sessions, this can seem like a daunting task. However, science has proven how meditation is undoubtedly beneficial to our brains. It helps us to deal with stress, anxiety and taking on daily tasks at our highest capacity. If you’re a beginner take a look on YouTube for some Guided Meditations, or throw on some of your favourite artists that you find therapeutic.

Meditation is free and it connects you to your divine self – what more can I say?

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