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Una Biologicals is an independent company proud to bring you Organic Beauty & Wellness products. All of our products are hand-crafted just for you.  

Because we believe that your body deserves the best that nature has to offer, we use only premium organic oils to nourish your skin and never include harsh chemicals, additives, or artificial fragrances.  Our goal is keep you Healthy & Gorgeous!

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Health & Beauty Blog

This is where we can expand a little on the ideas of health & wellness.  All information is shared in the spirit of education and fun.  We hope you find a little inspiration, perhaps a new recipe, or even a new way of looking your day.  Thanks for spending a little time with an open mind.

~Namaste, Jessica

Filtering by Tag: breathe

It's OK to Live a Happy & Calm Life

Jessica Graves

Snow falls in thick wet flakes,  swirling among the air currents, falling at once fast and slow.  The kind of snowfall that can make you dizzy if you look too closely.  I sit, watching this drama unfold, tea steaming next to me as I absorb my quiet day.  This week I am working to live a calm and slow life.  A life we are entitled to, yet so rarely actualize. 

Like most of you, my days are booked beyond capacity with obligations for children, work, partners, charities and more. The hours slide past in a blur until I collapse into bed only to rise in a few short hours and hit repeat.  However, it is OK to live a calm life.  I know this to be true. I know in my heart that calm is healthy for mind & body.  And so this year, 2015, while others commit in their own way to a healthier lifestyle, I have committed myself to a slower, calmer life.

I do not intend to create an all-out transformation of my life, indeed I feel that effort would fail.  Rather I encourage you to consider the possibilities in your life for creating small moments of stillness and calm;  segments that are manageable and doable in your real routine.  My goal is to have a 30 minutes of true calm and quiet once a week where I intend to sit in as much stillness as possible.  That may be watching the snowfall while I drink an entire cup of tea, or not, the activity is irrelevant so long as it is quiet & calm (and not working quietly at my desk).  Daily I have implemented a 5 minute rule.  For 5 minutes each day, be it in the morning or evening, I will sit quietly and be still. I will not rush about, talk, text, update, give directions or corrections. I will try to not think. Rather I hope to take these simple moments to recharge my mind, slow my breathing, and settle myself back to center.

This sound a lot like meditating to the perceptive out there.  Indeed I hope to use this time to create a meditation practice. Meditation as a real practice in my life has for years eluded me.  Despite knowing that meditation, for even 5 minutes a day, has been proven to decrease blood pressure, increase mental acuity, improve memory and focus. It calms the body and restores the mind.  Meditation does not need to be a long drawn out affair that strikes fear of time wasting into the hearts of corporate moguls.  Rather, meditation can happen in your car (while parked), in your fave chair, at your desk, in your bed or on your yoga mat.  Sure, a dedicated space is great, but this real life folks and real life means real solutions that you can implement into your daily routine.  Be honest about what Can work for you and start there.  I have 5 minutes, that will likely find me sitting in my home-office, on my floor, at the end of my day hoping my kids read the “I am meditating sign” I left dangling on the door.  I may or may not get all 5 minutes.  I accept this in advance and hope to train my family, much like I am training my mind.

Now that you are convinced that you can find the time, how do you make meditation happen?  Simple: 1. Sit comfortably wherever you are.  If you can’t sit on the floor easily, a chair is great.

2. Close your eyes.  We are creating space for your tired mind. Don’t look at distractions.

3. Take a deep breath in. Deep Breath Out.  Deep Breath In. Deep Breath Out.  The breath is going to help us stay focused.  Focus on that breath filling your body with strength and nourishment on the inhale, and releasing all that you don’t need on the exhale – Carbon dioxide, stressful work situations, sadness, anger, all of it – it flows out with the breath.  Let it all go, you don’t need it anymore.

4. Focus back on your breath.  Why? Because being still a skill that we have to teach ourselves.  Stillness is no longer our strength, so your mind will probably try to wander back to work or that irritating shopper at the grocery store.  No biggie.  Simply acknowledge that truth, let that thought go, and focus again on your breath.

Some schools of thought use mantras or exercises to help with this breath focus.  Are you a tactile or touch person? You can focus on feeling the actual air enter and exit your nostril. This is a delicate feeling  which takes focus to notice.

If you are a words person, SoHam is a great mantra .  Think So-on the inhale and Ham (hum) on the exhale.  So Hum is an ancient Sanskrit term which means simply, I Am. 

As your practice of 5 minutes o’ stillness becomes more routine being still will become easier.  Your mind will quiet faster, and you will how much clearer you can think in those other 23 hours and 55 minutes of your day.

Try it. Share your progress and I will share mine – It is OK to live a calm life.

 

Time for Gratitude

Jessica Graves

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I know a lot of you are cleaning those houses, finalizing your menus, and prepping for extended family! Holidays meant for quality family time, feasts, and gratitude can actually end up causing us more stress than joy. Hopefully a couple scrumptious vegetarian recipes can help us lighten the load from our turkey, potato, and gravy comas and a few yoga positions can help lower our anxiety levels and aid digestion.  Try this delicious and nutritious recipe from "The Hungry Girls" .

Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad

Ingredients

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 potatoes, cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful of green beans, topped and tailed, cut in half on the diagonal
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sour cream or natural yoghurt to serve (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato and potato and pan-fry for 5–10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly colored.

2. Stir in the garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and generous black pepper, coating well. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender (around 15 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer for a few minutes, then drain.

4. Put the hot beans into a large bowl along with the tomato and parsley. Add the hot roasted vegetables, lemon juice and another good splash of oil and toss to combine. Add extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of sour cream or natural yoghurt if desired.

The following Thanksgiving recipe is one of our favorites from Jane Sigal in "Food and Wine". It has the perfect touch of sweetness and is absolutely delectable! 

Baked Apples With Oyster Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 4 baking apples (about 1/2 pound each)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil, tarragon and chives
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a small, shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the apples with vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut a thin slice off the top of each apple. Using a small spoon, scrape out the apple flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Rub and moisten the apple cups with the lemon to discourage browning. Discard the skin from the apple tops and the seeds from the cores and finely chop the apple flesh.

2.Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped apple and the oyster mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over moderately high heat until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs.

3.Season the apple cups with salt and pepper. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the cups, mounding it slightly. Set the apples in the prepared baking dish and pour the cider around them. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the apples are tender; if they begin to brown during cooking, cover them with foil. Serve hot.

Yoga for digestion:

We all know what that overstuffed feeling is like and it is not pleasant! Here are a couple yoga positions that will not only aid digestion but will help calm the mind and reduce stress at the same time. I suggest everyone take a few minutes for themselves this Thanksgiving and find a quiet corner for your stretches. 

Apanasana- knees hugged to chest

Health Magazine describes how to do it as follows: Lie down, relax and inhale, placing your hands on your knees. Exhale, and hug your knees to your chest. Rock your knees from side to side to maximize the stretch. Stay for five to ten breaths, and release your knees. Repeat this move a few more times.

Standing forward bend

Chatelaine Everyday Extraordinary explains: Make sure feet are hip-width apart and inhale to raise arms up. Lowering down, exhale and bend at the hips to come forward. Tuck chin in towards chest and lengthen head towards the floor. Bend your knees if it’s more comfortable. Hold for 5 to 7 breaths.  This will calm the nervous system and pacify adrenals in the kidneys to compress the abdominal area to aid in digestion.