Jan 2nd

Nutrition: 101

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FRESH Beginnings

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One of my favourite quotes is “if you think wellness is expensive, try illness.” This quote signifies how important our health is to us and what extent we will go to ensure its abundance. The importance is that we are focusing on our health all the time on a preventative level, as opposed to putting all of our energy (and money) into fixing ourselves when we notice a problem.

When a new year begins we allow ourselves to start a new project or take on a lifestyle change. There is a mental shift that reassures us that we are capable of doing anything that we want. The truth is that we can make a dedicated change in ourselves whenever we desire, but why not start now with the clean slate of a new year.

If nutritional health is an improvement you want to focus on right now, take a look at these 5 TIPS that will keep you on the wellness track this year:

  1. Cut down on processed sugar.

Unless you are only eating raw fruits and veggies, there’s a good chance that some form of processed sugar is being added to the food. Always check the ingredients list and don’t be tricked by its alternative names (sucrose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, glucose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup).

Sugar has no nutritional value, so it is what we call “empty calories.” Even if the food product is low in fat, your body processes sugar into fat cells. High sugar intake can lead to excessive weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes and also can contribute to Metabolic Syndrome.

Try looking for healthy alternatives that actually have nutritional value or won’t affect your glycemic levels in a negative way (try stevia, honey, molasses, coconut sugar or maple syrup).

  1. Make digestion a focus.

Digestion is a very important part in the process of absorbing nutrients. If we aren’t digesting our food properly, we risk introducing any toxins from undigested food into our bloodstream. During the elimination process our body extracts the nutrients it needs to feed our cells. However, if our body can’t break the food down properly then we miss out on nutrients that our body needs.
Certain foods should not be eaten together; this is called Food-Combining. However, adding Probiotics, Enzymes and/or Apple Cider Vinegar into your daily routine can help the natural movement.

  1. Add a superfood into your diet.

Superfoods are specific foods known for their impressive levels of antioxidants, vitamins and/or minerals that are not normally found in one source of food. For example, adding quinoa to meals provides your body with a complete protein, iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber (yowza!).

Choose 1 one each month to add into smoothies, salads or dishes.

(raw cacao, chia seeds, seaweed, spirulina, chaga mushroom, Kambucha, etc.)

  1. Buy more locally grown foods (better for you and the environment)

Buying local provides you with the freshest crops that are picked at their very prime. The less time it takes the food to be taken from the soil and onto your table the more nutrients the food will have retained.

Locally grown produce is less likely to have harmful pesticides due to the fact that smaller, local farms are not using mass-producing tactics. Also, less transportation means less pollution – so a smaller impact on the environment!

  1. Infuse your water.

Drinking water is crucial for many health purposes. Water protects our vital organs, aids in digestion, regulates the body’s temperature, controls food cravings and flushes out toxins. Drinking a lot of water also improves the appearance of the skin, resulting in comparisons to Botox injections. If you’re not a fan of just water, adding some fresh ingredients to water can be a little more interesting for the taste buds.

The small amounts of natural sugars will also give you an energy boost. Try lemon to balance the body’s PH levels and detoxify the liver or ginger to aid in digestion.

Other suggestions (cucumber, mint, orange, apple, lime, cilantro, lavender or blueberries)

Blog Post By: Vanessa Kamevaar







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Sep 30th

The Best Spa to get a Facial in Toronto BlogTO

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Sep 23rd

Diaries of an Esthetician

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Wise Clients, Wise Words

It feels like ages since the last time I sat down with enough time in hand to accumulate material that is deserving of a post. Over the course of this time, I’ve observed my average conversations and it seems very real to me that a large number of women of my age (I wont give it away but I’ll say early 30’s 😉 ) are having a rough time settling with someone and also figuring out if their current relationship situation resonates with who they are.

When I enter the treatment room and to service my  clients, it’s almost an immediate question they ask me that begins with, “sooooo….what’s the latest?” by latest they ALWAYS mean “what’s the scoop with the relationship & dating drama?”… and believe me, I have enough drama to go around for all of us! It’s all light and fun conversation, but after a half hour or so of chatter and scoopage, we always conclude with agreeing how tough it is to maintain a successful lasting relationship and meeting the right person, and wonder what the secret is.


I sought out a few clients who are in successful relationships and in a nutshell, here  are a few important rules that they followed:


  1. You have to be FRIENDS first

They explained to me that sometimes we are less likely to say things or treat friends a certain way and that in order to succeed, we must always remember that our partner is also our friend, first and foremost.  Spending day in and day out with the same person can sometimes make us feel like we are allowed to say and do what ever we want because we EXPECT the other person to know who we are.  Ladies, please refrain from becoming too comfortable here, it’s dangerous.

2. You have to LIKE your partner

Like is different than LOVE. You can love someone, and not really like who they are.  You can’t change people, nor should you try. Pay attention to all of the things you don’t like because they aren’t going away, it’s who they are and why you picked them!  Ask yourself three questions 1. Is this TOXIC  2. Is this DISRESPECTFUL 3.  Am I OVEREACTING?


Last but not least and by far my favorite one of all….

3. What are the little things that ANNOY you?

You may wonder how this one came up because I sure did but it makes sense! The little things are little now but over time they become BIG things. You see, the little things don’t go away, they just become more difficult to tolerate.  So, he may chew with his mouth open, or mouth breathe, or snore…you get my idea. When you are in love, these little things should not even be THINGS,  because when you love a person, you also love their imperfections, and these little things would not  matter.


We all have different ideas about love. I’ve read hundreds of articles in attempts to figure out personally if I was in the right scenario. Speaking with my clients about these topics are fun and entertaining and very insightful, but  ultimately, your intuition holds the key and will always lead you in the right direction, just remember to love yourself first.. you can never go wrong with self love <3

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Sep 21st


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Yoga . Food . Wine

Email: for more info!

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Sep 16th


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Jan 1st

Lights Out. The gift of GRATITUDE

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Day by day we carry on with our lives relying on everything that we are used to, oblivious to all of the little details that perfect our everyday routine. All things fall into place; your alarm goes off, you let the dog out to pee, you brew your coffee. But what happens when suddenly those subtle and seemingly insignificant components in your day are no longer accessible? How do we adapt to change?


Up until a week ago, I thought that it would turn my world upside down and strip away all that I had left in me, yes – a little dramatic, but without question the thought of it terrified me. My home is my haven, a place where I find peace, privacy and calm; the place where I seek salvage and rest.


So it happened…


My house happened to be the only house on my street that lost power during the Toronto ice storm; so I took a deep breath, rolled up my sleeves and stood up to the challenges. I moved  forward being as flexible as I could, standing up strong to whatever I was confronted with; down to the smallest detail. The lights went out and I  happened to be mid way into my 30 day practice of gratitude, I truly believe that this is what made the difference. The 30 day practice of gratitude directs you to acknowledge the beauty of simply living day to day. The theory is that being grateful of the small details in life refocuses the mind to a more positive plane. When this happens we  become grateful for the little things and see the beauty in having them; and when we do, we become aware that when we receive more we are blessed. There is nothing more amazing in life than to experience life itself! I moved into a warm and loving home that was full of life, loud and crazy but I had my family…and heat…and wine.


So think about it, all of the little pleasures we seek in life lie right before our eyes as long as we are willing to awaken to them.


Happy New Years Friends!


May 2014 Bring you an abundance of gratitude!

P.S If you are interested in putting gratitude into practice – Pick up the book “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne


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Dec 11th

I’m not sure what I did before I found yoga…

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Life has so many challenges, emotional experiences that take you on a wild wave that picks you up so high you feel like no pain can touch you.  A feeling that is so liberating that for a second you believe that there is nothing you can’t handle. In the next breath the wave slowly or quickly descends you onto land, reminding you that in life nothing is permanent.


Suffering in life is a challenge no doubt but I have recently realized that through my suffering I am now able to come out of it with light, love and humility. Experiencing pain and emotion is why we are here, we are here to feel, to learn and to improve ourselves. Without pain, we cannot grow…so in essence pain is a gift. It isn’t easy to see this while we are in the rubble of emotional pain, but it is important to step aside with observing eyes to see what is transpiring before you and understand that soon that magical wave will pick you up again.


My yoga is a fixed part of my life. I struggle on my mat in similar ways that I struggle in life. Practicing yoga runs deep into my spirit and has helped me to overcome swings of stability and instability in my life. It isn’t just about the physical practice, it is the community that I am surrounded by, the feeling of love and support and the energy of working towards the same goal. Being in a yoga class almost feels like you are fighting the battles in life together, in unity.


I am grateful that this sacred practice is a staple part of my life. Yoga and everything that it encompasses makes me a better person day by day.


Practice love, practice peace, practice gratitude, stay positive.


Namaste <3

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Oct 4th

The Diaries of an Esthetician – The Subject of Sex

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Working in this industry for so many years I have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful and interesting individuals. Sometimes building friendships and the trust of my clients, on a level that even their deepest and darkest secrets felt safe between me and the walls. What I’ve realized is that the job of an esthetician is highly underrated….a good one anyways. Honoring the unwritten law of confidentiality, every day we meet women and men who lay it all out to us, revealing juicy secrets and questions that they may not be so comfortable expressing to other people in their lives. Hoping to gain new perspectives and potentially resolving different situations that they are experiencing. Best part of these interactions, is that I personally have gained a great amount of knowledge about people and human behaviors, at times this knowledge has even helped me in the direction I have taken in my own personal life.


So I saw a great opportunity here, one that could help many people with questions they may have or feelings about certain subjects and experiences. A way for all women and men to learn and maybe even come to the realization that we are all the same and also that we have very similar thought processes. I am happy to be the sounding board and also ask the same question to other individuals and at the end of the month reveal these results.


Last month I spoke with women in and around my age (33) regarding sexuality. I see on average roughly 8-12 clients daily and was able to gather information that is fascinating. My question to them was – “Do you feel that men are more sexual than woman?” What I found was the general consensus stated that they (the women) were definitely the more sexual person in their relationship!


This is very interesting to me. I feel as though we have been conditioned to believe that men are more sexually charged, however, based on the feedback WE the women appear to be more sexual….shocking! But why are we embarrassed to say so? Maybe our upbringing? The pressures that society places on us that “good girls” don’t like sex? I don’t know the answers, but I think it’s a good subject to ponder.


So there you have it, we have all learned something here today…ladies out there in your late 20’s-30’s get ready, according to my clients who are 40+ this is just the beginning!


Love always,


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Mar 19th

The Healing Power of Grapefruit

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Who would have known that the fruit I liked the least growing up would be a part of my staple diet?  Those who know me, know I am a major sugar addict.  Being genetically predisposed to diabetes, I have always been concerned about my health and ‘addiction’ to sugar.  Sugar as we know, has many detrimental effects on our health, one being the increase of acidity in our body.  A wise woman once said to me “Take care of your health because our health is all we have, don’t take that for granted”.  It’s funny because I can think of a million things that I have caught myself taking for granted, but never did I consider my health in relation to my diet. Immediately, I became very self aware not only from a physical perspective but also mentally, this seemed to happen naturally as the two are intertwined and depend on one another.  At age 14 I decided to become a vegetarian, intuitively it just did not feel right to consume another animal. Being Brazilian, I was encouraged to consume animal protein, as it was once believed that we need the protein for proper health.  I went years and years before actually understanding all of the benefits of reducing my meat intake.  Today, I wouldn’t consider myself a full out vegetarian but I have greatly reduced how much meat I eat.  There are different opinions on what is most healthy for the human body, I believe that we are all different and we just need to find what works/doesn’t work for our individual needs. So what am I getting at with all of this?  Over years and years of abuse of my body through the consumption of processed sugars, meat products and dairy I have suffered from some minor but very relevant conditions like increased yeast in my body resulting in candida (which believe it or not is so common!), intolerance to wheat products, digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and get this, I’ve even had a parasite!  Which was so shocking. You see, based on my own experience and in my opinion, there is a possibility that these conditions are connected to high acidity in the body. It is totally possible to suffer from all of these conditions with lower acidity however, being highly acidic

1. Increases your chances

2. Takes longer to overcome the condition and

3. Creates the perfect environment for these conditions to FLOURISH! So I decided to take action and my health into my own hands, this is when I discovered the amazing grapefruit for what it really was. Not this gross and bitter torture of a fruit, but one that is refreshing and full of beneficial vitamins. All of a sudden I wasn’t getting sick as much and my digestive fires were like a factory…what? Who knew!?  Consider this…

  1. Blood/Sugar stabilizer – this makes sense for me as it reduces my desire for sugar
  2. Contains Nairigin – Good for the liver and helps metabolize fat (which ironically is produced by the liver from the consumption of Fructose)
  3. Helps with arthritis
  4. Helps to prevent cancer
  5. Makes your skin healthy and smooth
  6. Reduces acidity in the human body


I love this fruit so much that we offer a complimentary freshly squeezed glass of it with selected services at Laya. Some medications cannot be mixed with grapefruit juice, please check indications if you are on medication.

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Mar 1st

The Chakras Within

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I’m sure most people by now are familiar with the 7 Chakras. The easiest way it can be understood is by visualizing the human spine, now picture along the spine starting at the coccyx and all the way to the crown above the skull. Each chakra aligns with specific areas of the spine and beyond and embodies several attributes to our emotional and physical body. These chakras are represented by a color correlating to crystals that can be used to help heal the chakras and release blockages so that the higher chakras can be stimulated.  Sometimes some of the chakras can be blocked due to emotional trauma and there are several ways to release these blocks, but often we are unsure where they lie and where to start. The practice of yoga is beneficial as the movement and flow allows the body to open, releasing blocked energy that can stagnate the bodily functions, our state of mind and our spirit. Here is an easy to read chart that identifies each chakra, some emotions attached to them and what symptoms can occur when the energy of the chakra is stuck.

1st Chakra

Root Chakra: Located at the coccyx / perineum

Responsible for: Elimination, Courage and Grounding

When blocked: May Cause Anemia, Fatigue, Sciatica

Color: RED

Essential oils: Sandalwood, Rosewood, Cedarwood all help heal this chakra


2nd Chakra

Naval Chakra: Located at the lower abdomen

Responsible for: Sexual desire, Intimacy, Creativity

When blocked: Allergies, Gout, Candida

Color: Orange

Essential oils: Orange, Mandarine, Ylang Ylang help to heal this chakra


3rd Chakra

Solar Plexus Chakra: Located at the stomach

Responsible for: Digestion, Wit, Humor, Self control, how you process things

When Blocked: Nervousness, Parasites, blood/sugar disorders

Color: Yellow

Essential oil: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit help to heal this chakra


4TH Chakra

Heart Chakra: Located at the heart

Responsible for: Love, acceptance, forgiveness, growth, expression of love how your emotions/suppressed traumas have been released

When blocked: Chest Pain, tension, immune system

Color: Green

Essential oils: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen help to heal this chakra


5TH Chakra

Throat Chakra: Located at the throat

Responsible for: Communication, wisdom, speech, ability to verbalize and expressing truth

When Blocked: Mouth sores, tooth aches, tonsillitis, hiccups, hormonal problems, herpes

Color: BLUE

Essential oils : Lavender, Rose, Jasmine help to heal this chakra


6TH Chakra

Third Eye Chakra: Located between the eyebrows

Responsible for: Perception, release, memory, intellect, channel intuition, clears subconscious

When blocked: Increased anxiety, sleep disorders, fears, headaches, migraines, earaches


Essntial oils: Cypress, Rosemary and Vetiver help to heal this chakra


7TH Chakra

Crown Chakra: Located on the crown of the head

Responsible for: Peace Wisdom, Inspiration, Charisma, Awareness

When Blocked: Confusion ,bacteria infections, skin rashes, eczema


Essential oils: Frankincense, Neroli, Helichrysum help to heal this chakra

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