True Nature Travels Blog

By Alana Roach
Alana is a part of our 2015 True Nature Education Faculty. She is leading her first retreat January 17th – 24th in Santa Terest, Costa Rica. First published on her blog.

Pura vida or PURE LIFE holds true in Central America for me. It was a big reason why I came back after visiting for the first time only 6 months ago. Despite my best efforts on the East Coast in the US, I still had some troubling symptoms that led me to believe I was less than healthy. Costa Rica inspired me to redesign my life because running from errand to errand to then sleep and dream about errands was not conducive to my well-being. My body and mind revolted. I would be so often tired by the end of the day that I had no time to even share my day with loved ones. I would fall sick from exhaustion. My mind felt fogged over. A general haze seemed to be engulfing every fiber of my being. I would get covered in tinea versicolor. I would have what they call, “Teacher burn-out,” and there is seldom serenity coming from within when a teacher is running on E. My hips hurt. My digestion got blocked up from God knows what because I ate as organic and healthy as I could.

During our vacation visit in March, I experienced my first dose of PURA VIDA. My mind started to de-fog, I slept more soundly, the food here felt more nutrient dense, I had energy despite rigorous hikes, I felt like I could BREATHE, omg… the air quality here is so magnificent, you should smell it! I became fortified and purified by Costa Rica. It became even more pronounced to me as soon as I left this paradise, that I needed to come back asap. When I left Costa Rica the haze crept back in, my energy body immediately felt sludgy, my mind felt chaotic, my digestion returned to it’s sensitive state, I got sick a week later, and I got consumed by consumerism once again. No longer than a month back in the US and I knew I had to come back to Costa Rica for my health.

So here we are in paradise, and I am here to share with you 5 Ways Moving to Costa Rica Improved my Health!

1. Vibrant skin. Tinea Versicolor Gone!


I am prone to what dermatologist call Tinea Versicolor, which is a long term fungal infection. I have had it since I was 13 . TV breaks out in humidity and in being a yoga teacher that means I was covered in them. 2 weeks after arriving in HUMID Costa Rica, eating the local grown fruits and veggies, breathing the air, drinking the water, they went away. I have heard this is the case for some others who suffered from this fungal annoyance. It is gone, it is humid here, those two factors don’t usually line up for Tinea, but apparently PURA VIDA wins in this case. I won’t try and figure out the mystery, I will just enjoy (Thank you, Costa Rica).

2. Cardio Heaven.


There is so much raw beauty here that I can’t stand being inside for more than shut eye, it is incredible how nature draws you out when there is a beautiful symbiosis between you and it. Since moving here we are surfing almost every day and walking EVERYWHERE. My body is thanking me for it. I would squeeze in 20 minutes on the tread mill when I could between errands before and now my whole day is rich with heart healthy activity.

3. Improved Digestion.


Maybe it’s all of the locally grown fruits and vegetables that you can buy at any and all of the markets in town (There are about 5 to chose from.) Maybe it’s the quality of the water. Whatever it is, my digestion hasn’t felt so smooth in years. I am seriously boosting this as a reason why you should consider visiting here because I feel like digestion is KEY to leading energetic, happy, healthy lifestyles through all ages. I barely take any vitamins here and I don’t feel like I need them (I used to take about 20 vitamins a day) because everything has so many vitamins naturally.

4. Freedom.


In the town I live in there are no McDonalds or shopping malls to speak of. There is no reason to bring your phone with you everywhere because the island life won’t allow for it. There aren’t tabloid magazines hanging in a checkout line. There are no sounds of traffic or sirens whirring by every second. There is mostly the sound of nature, ocean waves, and silence if you chose it. I can’t express adequately with words how freeing this all is, but you have to experience it for yourself or perhaps meditate with it in mind to get a taste. It is truely ineffable. I have found a new way of being and my body, mind, and spirit feel renewed by it.

5. Happy mind.


I get to wake up everyday knowing that I am painting my life the way God intended it to be. I had a lot of, “What ifs,” “Can I really do this,” and “Am I worthy of this?” When I sat in silence and tapped deeply within the resonance of my Higher Self, the answer was always, “Yes.” Yes, I am taken care of. Yes, I can do this. Yes, I am worthy.” Moving to Costa Rica is another leap in my saying YES to my soul’s deepest yearning. I am co-designing my life with the Creator, sharing my passion for love through yoga with the world and let me tell you, my health is reaping the rewards more and more everyday because of it.

I look forward to resonating with you here in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica in the New Year, January 17-24 for Explorations of Self:A Costa Rica Yoga Experience. Register Here.
I’ll see you on your mats and in the ocean, PURA VIDA!

Love and light, and pura vida!

Alana Roach
CYT, E-RYT, Reiki, Retreat Leader & Travel Blogger

Follow me on facebook/twitter/instagram @alanaroachyoga

True Nature Travels Blog

Trish Carty is a part of our 2015 Teaching Faculty. She is leading an incredible retreat, Fermentation for Your Mind, Body & Spirit on an amazing bio-dynamic farm February 7-14, 2015. Her blog, Keep the Beet keeps you on the cutting edge of the wonderful health benefits of fermented foods. This great summer salsa recipe is perfect keep on hand for a post yoga snack!

fermented-salsa-verde-edit1-300x225Last summer, at the Farm To Fermentation Festival I taught a digestion seminar. I demonstrated three fermented salsas. One of them was a Fermented Tomatilla Salsa Verde. Here is my recipe. I had just picked up these fresh tomatilla’s at my local CSA down the street from where I love. It was in the height of the season for tomatoes and tomatillas’s in our area! It was so wonderful to highlight my recipes from the season!

Fermented Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 1 min Total time: 16 mins Serves: 4-8

Fermented Tomatillo Salsa Verde
1lb Tomatillo’s- prepare by drop in boiling water to blanch first cool in ice water and remove husks then proceed with salsa recipe. Cool and chop medium dice
2 garlic clove crushed
1 cup cilantro washed and chopped
½ of one red onion Diced Or substitute these for ! med.shallot
2 TB. extra virgin olive oil
Same proportions just more lime Juice.
One of the following: 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt or
1 teaspoons unrefined sea salt and ¼ cup water kefir OR
A vegetable starter- follow directions on box

Mix all together and put into jar with proper fermentation lid, proceed as above for the fermentation process. I personally do use an air lock fermentation vessel.

To learn more about Trish and her upcoming retreat with True Nature, click here.

True Nature Travels Blog

183212_4066559055946_2027869845_nTrue Nature Education co-founder “Luna” Kristin Ray balances her days between being a full-time mom, wife, musician and whipping up yummy and amazing recipes in her kitchen to keep her family healthy, clean and green.   Her super easy (and very yummy) dahl recipe is one you might find yourself choosing to make a staple in your own kitchen, making some at the start of every week to keep and have for lunch each day.

f0c6e9c0c549217307dfc5922e476bd8Luna’s Super Easy Dahl with Coconut Rice

1.5 cups of pink lentils
5 cups water
3/4 tsp of turmeric
5 tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic
1.5 tsp salt

Put turmeric, dahl and water in pot, and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn heat off and with a fork or mixing spoon beat the lentils so they break up and get soupy.

Cut the garlic cloves lengthwise but thin, and then flash fry the garlic in the olive oil in a separate pan.  (high heat, and the garlic cooks for about 1-2 minutes and turns brown) Add the garlic and oil to the lentils, and add salt.  SO YUMMY~

1cup of rice
1.5 cups of water
1tbsp cumin seeds
1.5 tbsp of coconut oil
1/3 cup of shredded coconut
salt to taste

Combine rice, water, cumin and coco oil, and cook until rice is done.
Add coconut and salt to taste.
Enjoy with your dahl!
OSHAlbumCoverFinalRGB2-274x243p.s. Here is a FREE download from Luna’s new CD, One Shared Heart.  Enjoy this mindful music for the heart while you make this food for the soul!