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Friday, June 23, 2017

Top Five Addictive Foods

How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank or Feeling Deprived

Did you know that most processed foods are highly addictive? “Blame sugar, salt, and fat. Processed food often contain all three - minus the protein, fiber, and water that help your body handle them.”

The 5 most addictive foods are:

1.       Ice cream

2.       Candy

3.       French fries

4.       Chocolate

5.       Cookies

Did you know that women are more likely than men to have “addictive/ unhealthy relationship with food”? According to Ashley Gearhardt, PhD, the co-creator of Yale University's Food Addiction Scale (YFAS)* "women tend to restrict and then binge." 

I am passionate about health and wellness. My mission is to empower women to be healthy in all areas of their lives and food is just the first step. I used to be overweight as a child and was bullied because of my large size. My mom and family called me “Fat Girl” and told me I needed to go on a diet. That meant no more ice cream. I felt deprived and started craving more ice cream. Since my mom still bought ice cream, I snuck around and ate as much as I could whenever I craved some. Then, I’d feel guilty and make myself throw up in the toilet. So I understand how women can develop an addictive/ unhealthy relationship with food. At one point, I was forty pounds overweight. My stomach had several folds and I was ashamed of my body.  I hated my body and my lack of will power. Little did I know that I was a sugar “addict/ junkie”. As a teenager, I felt like a misfit. So, I went on a diet and exercise regime to lose weight. To my surprise, I lost forty pounds in less than a year and felt great. Little did I know that I had anorexia. 

 I am so grateful for yoga because it helped me become aware of how I was abusing my body with dieting and unhealthy food. It taught me to be a “mindful  eater”.  I still crave sweet food, but before I indulge, I ask myself if that will really satisfy me or if I’d feel better with a healthier choice. Awareness is the first step to change.  Combined with action, belief and commitment,  I now have a healthy relationship with food.  If I can change, so can you.

 Many people think that eating healthy is expensive and that vegetables are not appetizing. I want to show them how to make healthy, tasty food on a budget. My secret is also my pain. I never want to be known as the “Fat Girl” again. I still crave sweets but I don’t overeat.  I share my healthy creations on Instagram and keep myself accountable.  I shop at Farmers Market, local, specialty grocers and cook my own meals. Many people don’t have time to cook, but they never think about the cost of eating out or getting food delivered.  I make 30-minute easy, healthy, tasty meals and each serving costs about $5-6.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Align Your Actions with Your Values

Free Yoga Event

I have always admired B-Corps. What are B-Corps? "These companies meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems". Together, they lead a growing worldwide movement to use business as a "force for good". There are 2,180 B-Corps and the most famous one is TOMS Shoes that donates a pair of shoes everytime a purchase is made. Now, TOMS has gone "Beyond One for One". I also admire Green Businesses and GBN: Green Businesses Networking. I am inspired by SEA: Social Enterprise Alliance - members form an "active community that is at the forefront of the social enterprise movement. From enterprising non-profits and mission-driven for-profits, to supporters, consultants, academics and others, SEA’s membership is as diverse as the movement itself. What unites SEA members is a vision of social enterprise to address basic needs and create opportunity for all through effective, efficient and sustainable solutions".

My idea is to connect these three amazing organizations together and multiple the good that they do. If you are a B-Corp or want to be part of LOHAS: Lifestyle of Health And Sustainability, join the group. Align your actions with your values and be the change you want to see in the world.

Join Being Well!  

P.S. Did  you know that we lose 100 hours each year due to traffic, making L.A one of the most highly congested cities in the world. The 100 Hours Campaign wants to hear from you-how would you spend those 100 hours and what traffic solutions do you want to see.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Calendar of Events - New & Updated

Health = Wealth

6/21 Excited about the 2-day Yoga Day Summit - an online event that will offer you an unparalleled opportunity to experience and celebrate the beauty, power and depth of yoga as a vehicle for living a divine life and creating a world built on Oneness.

6/21 Celebrate Summer Solstice - Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Go outside!

6/24 Athleta Summer Solstice Free Acro Yoga in the Park 10 am - 2 pm.

6/24 "Discover Recycling" Open House 2027 Stoner Ave 9 am - 2:30 pm

6/25 International Yoga Day FREE Outdoor Class 4-6 pm @ Burton Chase Park in Marina Del Rey
6/25 Main Street Summer Soulstice 11 am Main Street Santa Monica (Beauty & Wellness on Pier Ave, Tech Expo on Strand St)

6/27  ClimateDay L.A. 12 pm to 10:30 pm Downtown L.A.
Dog lovers and owners bonus - $20 credit towards your first dog walk or petting sitting

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy International Yoga Day!

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6/25 International Yoga Day FREE Outdoor Class 4-6 pm @ Burton Chase Park in Marina del Rey! (Do not contact me. It's an event by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center*

There is much more to yoga than just the poses. Yoga connects me to my Divine Self and helps me be present. Yoga turns me on. It's all inclusive: it welcomes all ages, all beliefs, all cultures, all faiths, all religions, all shapes and sizes. Yoga teaches acceptance, compassion and non-judgement. Yoga unites - if more people practice yoga and learn its lessons of acceptance, compassion and non-judgement then we'd have a better, more peaceful world.

Being aware is the first step to making changes. I was not aware of how I treated my body and myself until I learned to tune in to my body and my thoughts. Yoga allowed me to do so in a safe space. It empowered me to dig deep and find the truth. Yoga teaches self-love and we cannot love others when we do not accept or love ourselves. We all want to be happy, healthy and to live in a sustainable manner. Yet, we are conditioned to buy this or that as if we can acquire happiness or health like a possession. When we tap into our own Divine being, we can access contentment, peace and wellness.
Summer is the best time to yoga outdoors. I used to lead Yoga at the Park and now want to start Yoga at the Beach. Let me know if you are interested. Join



Monday, June 19, 2017

Advice to the Class of 2017

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Do what your love. Be clear about what you are passionate about. What would be your biggest goals and dreams if you knew you couldn't fail? How would your life be different if you were living your dreams? What are you most scared of that’s been keeping you from going for it? What is one small action you can take to get closer to your goals?

I knew two UCLA students who graduated last year and had a hard time finding a job that they wanted. Both wanted to work in PR or marketing, but were unwilling to explore internship and other options. I tried to help them by relating my own job search experience and how my cousin got a paying job due to his internship experience. I also asked if they included their volunteer experience in their resumes. I didn't hear back from them. A few days later, a mutual friend told me that they moved back to their own countries because they thought it'd be easier to find a job they liked there. I wished them luck. Another thing about job hunting is to develop your network. It's mostly about who you, your parents and your circle of friends know. In this connected world, Social Media is a great way to get your foot in the door. Did you know that CEOs of companies think that engagement in Social Media leads to 78% better communication, 71% improved Brand image and 89% better connections? You are your own brand. Create a profile on It is the world's largest professional network with over 430 million members in 200+ countries. Publish and share content. I have built a presence in Social Media - it is helping me gain influence as a blogger.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mass Meditation and Yoga

I was at Disclosure Fest yesterday 10 am to noon. I took the Expo Line to Pico Station and Uber pool from the L.A. Convention Center to the event. I brought my healthy snacks, sunscreen, yoga mat, UV block umbrella and water bottle. I enjoyed classes like Unlock Your Voice by Helane Anderson at the Mind-Body Space and part of Tantric Yoga - Dosha Balancing Asana series by Stephen Huntsman. I wanted to check out the Sound Bath and Meditation by Serina Wolfe, but it got too crowded and hot. As an introvert, I do not feel comfortable in crowds and I am also allergic or hyper sensitive to the heat. So I left before I got a headache. I love free events that raise consciousness, improve health and wellness. When I found out about this event in Downtown L.A, I immediately asked if anyone wanted to carpool, but got no takers. So I ditched my car and planned ahead to get there before 10 am. I like being early because it's usually less crowded and I can take my time to check out everything. I really enjoyed the event and hope that they will continue to do it next year.

Check out my photos @Instagram

Ingrid Cheng
Empowering Women to be Healthy with my e-Book and blog. My blog as 89/100 domain authority score on Moz Open Site Explorer.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lesson 21: Have Fun

Life is an adventure. Enjoy, explore and learn as you grow into your highest potential. Lighten up. Don't take things or yourself so seriously. Laugh at your mistakes and continue on your journey, being aware and mindful so that you do not repeat the same patterns. Yoga taught me to be present. There is nothing to do and nowhere to be. I just connect my breath with movement and flow. Focus on what is good and positive. Love your body, love your life and love yourself.

1. Get clear about your goals - what fulfills you spiritually
2. Create a Vision Board with words that empower you to attract and manifest what you want. I did that and am now launching my coaching practice base on the 21-Life Lessons from Yoga.
3. Write down what your beautiful, creative and meaningful life looks and feels like in the present tense.
4. Practice affirmations daily.
5. Daily gratitude journal - write down 1 to 3 things you are thankful for each day.
6. Read inspirational articles, blogs, books, stories and share your own Life Vision.

P.S. I love "Small Goals Commitment Challenge" SparkPeople blog!

Ingrid Cheng

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lesson 20: Breath is Life

Beach Yoga

Breathing is something we automatically do and take for granted. Yet most of us tend to breathe shallowly. Yoga teaches conscious deep breathing. Breath work is important if you want to have more energy. The Chinese call it Chi, in Hindu it is Prana or "life force". When you practice yoga, you connect breath with movement and as you build heat or Prana, you are a force of life.

Benefits of Breath work or Pranayama:

1. Calmness and peace
2. Create harmony of mind, body and spirit
3. Clears blocked or stuck energy (reduces inflammation)
4. Increases energy, enthusiasm and positivity
5. Brings clarity to the mind and health to the body

Did you know that Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath) can help you calm anxiety, a buzzing mind and reduce stress?

Do you want to detox your body? Then try Kapalbati Pranayama

Feeling fatigued? Then try Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow Breath)

* It is important to practice these techniques with a yoga teacher in order to experience the full benefits. Experimenting on your own is not advisable.

P.S. When I'm stuck in traffic, I often get impatient and forget to breathe deeply. Did you know that "LA's traffic just hit a new high-let's figure out some solutions!"

We lose 100 hours each year due to traffic, making LA one of the most highly congested cities in the world. The 100 Hours Campaign wants to hear from you-how would you spend those 100 hours and what traffic solutions do you want to see in LA? The project is exploring solutions from around the world to address congestion in the region. Check out the solutions and share your using #100Hours.

Ingrid Cheng

Lesson 19: Cultivate Inner Garden


Yoga helped me be aware, be present and to cultivate my inner garden. Think of what we all desire: more joy, love and peace. Do you plant seeds of joy, love and peace in our thoughts and actions? Or do you tend to be critical and negative? I used to be my own worse enemy and really down on myself. Yoga allowed me to connect with my Divine self and learn the truth. Our society conditions us to compare and compete with each other. Yoga teaches acceptance, compassion and collaboration. I learned to love myself and others because we are all spiritual beings having a human experience.

3 Tips to Cultivate What You Desire:

Affirmations - Write down phrases like "I am beautiful, I am blissful, I am bountiful" and repeat them
Meditation - Commit to 5 minutes of meditation every day. "The ways in which we greet the day and set our intentions strengthen our ability to focus on kindness and compassion. This focus and awareness also helps us be in the present moment."
Visualization - Create a Vision Board to empower you. Mine has photos of a dog, kids, fireworks, nature and a athletic healthy woman. The caption words I chose are "Celebrate, Create, Collaborate, Connect, Explore, Gratitude, Be Healthy, Have fun."

How will you apply this in your life today? Please comment and share. Thank you.

P.S. Join Being Well Facebook Group

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lesson 18: Less is More

We all need to be conscious consumers. Do you like retail-therapy? Chances are you get the urge to shop for things that you don't really need in order to feel better. Do you still get a high from the hunt and feel guilty later? Do you realize that you fall into bad habits and want to change? The average household credit card debt is $16,748 and each family has accumulated around 300,000 items (for a family of 3 that equals 100,000 items per person). Think of the cost to your overall health (financial worry) and the environment.

Yoga helped me realize that I have more than enough and that less is more. I have not bought anything new in more than a week. I mostly shop for food and groceries. This frees me from having to deal with stuff that clutter up my closet and my space. Be honest. Does having all that stuff make you happy? Are you in credit card debt? Did you know that most of the things people store up just occupy space and have no real use? The same goes for food. Eat until 70-80% full, stop and wait a while. Choose to eat plant-based whole foods with dense nutrients and fiber. Enjoy the sight, smell and taste of your meal. 

My challenge to you is to look at how you spend your money and the stuff you have at home. If there are clothes and things you haven't worn or used in the last 6 months, donate them to charity or sell them on e-Bay. How will you apply the "less is more" concept in your life? Please share below in the comments button. 

Ingrid Cheng

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lesson 17: Be Fulfilled

Yoga taught me connect with my Divine purpose and to be fulfilled by trusting my inner wisdom. Do you feel like there's something missing? What is your intention for your life?  

1.       Discover the Friendly Universe*

Know that it’s abundant, creative, expanding, infinite, unlimited, progressive , it is of divine love. Whole (lacking in nothing)
Be receptive to its truths.
We want to experience beauty, love, peace, joy and well-being. In order to do so, we need to get in touch with the divine spirit in each of us. We open our hearts/ minds to listen to our soul desires, to grow in prosperity and live a purposeful life. 
We are in a co-creative relationship with the Universe. We ask questions that lead to answers that turn into actions and a way of life. What we seek is inside us. We no longer buy into being victims, but reclaim our authentic self as spiritual beings. We are not here to get it, but to let it. We make choices that liberates us.
You are a unique expression of the Divine. There is no one like you. You are here to realize your powerful destiny and unleash your great potential.

2.       Affirmations
I have a lot to give. My gifts and talents can make a positive impact to the world.
The Universe wants me to fulfill my purpose.
I am open to receive.
I let go of my excuses and fears. I go for my heart’s true desires.
I understand that what I want also wants me.

3.       Spiritual Development – 3 stages*
Stage 1: Victim Mind
“Life happens to me.”
“Why me?”
Do you hold back because you fear failure? Be aware of emotions and mindset that hook you or trigger you. Observe and examine your feeling. Is it a habitual fear pattern or society influence (media/ news)?

Stage 2: Creative/ Manisfesting Mind
“I happen to life.”
You are here to radiate light, love, joy, peace and well-being. I use my gifts and talents to be of service to the world.

Stage 3: Being/ Channeling
“I am fully alive, I freely express my authenticity”
I am part of the abundant, generous, loving Universe that is actively helping me fulfill my purpose. I let go and let God/Divine be in control. I channel the Divine with my focus and actions. I serve to express my gratitude for all that I am and all that I have freely without expectation or hesitation. 

4.       Identify what you need to work on in the 8 Life Structures*
Body Temple

What makes you come alive? Do it! Be grateful for the people, places and things that you love most. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for that are challenging to you.

Rate each the above 8 Structures by levels 1-3 based on the 3 Stages of Spiritual Development.

What does it feel like in the life structure(s) which you score the highest?

What might it feel like to be at a “level 3” in the structure(s) which you score the lowest?

*Based on Masterclass with Michael Beckwith, founder of Agape Spiritual Center