Pranayama, one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, can be translated as “to extend the vital life force.” it’s a practice that can have a profound effect on your health and life.
Simple breathing exercises can help everyone, regardless of your experience and enjoy benefits such as reduced anxiety and stress, increased focus and a more restful sleep. Here is a practice that you can try right now:
Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
1. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
2. At the peak of your inhalation, close off your left nostril with your 3rd and 4th fingers, then exhale smoothly through your right nostril.
3. After a full exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, closing it off with your right thumb at the peak of your inhalation.
4. Continue for the next few breaths, following the same pattern. Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be thinking about how this holiday meal will fit into your health and wellness goals. I love the holidays and especially love to eat all the yummy food that go along with it.
If you find yourself slumped into a heap on the sofa with a button undone you may be experiencing a food sensitivity or other digestive upsets. White flour and wheat do not sit well with me at all, so I have adapted this apple pie recipe to satisfy my palate and tame my tummy. You can make it ahead of time and serve with your holiday meal this Thanksgiving.
1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 cup large flaked oats
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup or so, water
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into even pieces
1/2 cup honey, warmed so its liquid
3 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Creamy Maple Topping:
1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make crust, whisk flour, oats, coconut sugar, salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and combine well. Begin to add some of the 1/2 cup water until the mixture begins to form a ball. Kneed to gather up all the crumbs and bits. Add a drop or two of water if needed. Divide the dough into 2 balls evenly.
Place one ball on sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit of Gluten Free All Purpose flour. Flatten with back of hand to form a disc shape. If too crumbly - try chilling the dough for a bit. Continue to flatten and roll gently to a little larger then pie pan. Carefully lift parchment paper over pie pan and gently lay dough down to cover evenly. Form to shape using hands as needed. If it breaks apart, simply fill in the pieces by pressing together. When it bakes, it all comes together nicely.
Repeat same for top layer and set aside or chill until ready.
For the filling, in another bowl toss apples with flour, honey and cinnamon. Pour apple mixture into pie shell.
Carefully cover with top layer and pinch close the sides to seal using your fingers. Poke 4 vent holes in top crust for steam to escape.
Place pie on bottom rack in oven and bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Mix together Vanilla Greek Yogurt with maple syrup and serve over warm pie. Deelish!
Whether you enjoy smoothies for breakfast or a snack, they're a great way to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
But, depending on what ingredients they're made with, they can quickly turn into unhealthy smoothies filled with saturated fats and sugar which can add up to in calories and sabotage your health goals.
The healthiest way to enjoy a protein smoothie is to make your own so you know how much and what foods you are getting.
A good smoothie should contain a blend of protein and fiber to keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Its an excellent way to avoid the 3pm crash and overeating later in the day.
Best High Protein Ingredients
- Low fat plain greek yogurt
- Organic silken or soft tofu
- 100% whey protein isolate
- fresh or frozen berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry)
- banana or mango, but are higher in sugar and may want to avoid if on a low glycemic or weight loss plan.
- ground flaxseed
- chia seed
Best Flavor Enhancers
- ground cinnamon
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- organic almond or coconut extract
Power Fruit Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy beverage)
- 1 scoop 100% whey protein isolate, plain or vanilla
- 1/2 cup PC Power Fruit, frozen
- 1/3 cup chopped kale
- 1 small handful baby spinach
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Avoid using full fat dairy products, flavored yogurt, ice cream, canned fruit in syrup or chocolate syrup which can be loaded with calories in the form of sugar and saturated fat with little or no fiber or other nutrients.
Do you want to increase your energy? How about clearing a fuzzy mind, enjoying uninterrupted sleep and glowing skin? Spring is the ideal time to detoxify and purify your body and mind.
Our bodies have built in systems that are designed to deal with daily exposure of toxins found in our water, food, air and environment. In a perfect world our bodies would detoxify without any extra help from us.
The problem arises when there is too much toxicity that has built up with minimal toxicity being eliminated. Poor digestion and a sluggish colon combined with reduced liver function add to increased toxicity.
There are many methods to encourage detoxification, from a gentle approach to a much deeper cleanse. Detoxification programs may include dietary restrictions, herbs, vitamins, sauna, yoga or a juice fast.
Reasons for Cleansing:
• Treat disease
• Cleanse body
• Rest organs
• Weight loss
• Clear skin
• Slow aging
• Improve flexibility
• Improve fertility
• Enhance the senses
Many questions arise when thinking about detoxification programs. Where should I begin? What should I eat or avoid during this time? What can I expect to feel?
While a detoxification program can promote energy and vitality, for some if not proceeded with carefully can burden already stressed organs. It is recommended to consult with a Holistic Nutritionist who can assess your health to determine the best approach for you.
Through Live Blood Analysis, a simple non-invasive procedure, I can immediately assess toxicity levels and provide a protocol to support and cleanse your body and mind, leaving you energized and radiant.
For more information on how nutritional counseling and live blood analysis can help you, please contact me - I would love to hear from you.
It's Sunday and I am sick in bed with a cold. Pumped up on vitamin C and zinc I can just see it now, my white blood cells moving through my blood stream like Ms. Pac Man. Ok, so I am really dating myself.
There is no doubt that a strong immune system is your best defense against a cold or flu. Vitamin C, Zinc and Oregano provide excellent support to prevent and speed recovery from colds and flus.
Personally, I love Platinum Naturals Oregano 8
. which has helped me get back on my yoga mat within a few days more than once. To support your immune system through cold and flu season, try 1 capsule per day for good defense. Full Newsletter
Health and happiness,
Practicing yoga offers so many health benefits to all ages, young and old. Many have experienced improvement to their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Offen of which, spill off into their everyday lives off the mat.
For newbies, yoga may still be mysterious and even daunting. But, don't let concerns about flexiblity, fitness level or age prevent you from experiencing the powerful healing benefits of a yoga practice.
Yoga has been well documented to improve flexibility, balance, relaxation and concentration. Improved lung capacity, stress reduction and better mood have also been reported.
Here are some of the health benefits you can receive from a regular yoga practice:
- Stronger immunity
- Healthy libido
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved muscle tone
- Better eye-hand coordination
- Better memory and cognitive function
- Better circulation
For those who suffer with debilitating conditions such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, migraines, asthma, COPD, and back pain, these can be managed or alleviated from a regular yoga practice. Practicing yoga in a group forges strong social bonds, and a sense of community and friendship providing psychological benefits that are an important part of overall health and longevity.Full schedule and class locations
Congratulations detoxers on your 21 Day Detox Challenge! These past few weeks certainly have gone by fast. Hopefully you have had a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall colors and had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Cleansing is an important part of supporting our mind and bodies by decreasing toxins going in and increasing toxins going out via the lungs, skin, large intestine, liver, kidneys and lymphatic systems. The result is a feeling of lightness, mental clarity and renewed energy.
My diet has always been pretty clean, but over the last summer I had strayed and felt the effects. Throughout the cleanse, the goal was to avoid all sugar, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, cow's dairy, red meat and processed foods. These were replaced with hot lemon water with raw organic apple cider vinegar, herbal tea, whole grains, almond milk, goats milk feta, fish, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables.
I followed as best as possible but I did stray on a couple of occassions near the end. This was a great learning experience as I was able to immediately identify my food sensitities. I have narrowed down the list to: white sugar and white flour (hello pumpkin pie). Two major triggers for me that resulted in a huge brain fog and headaches.
When I was consistent in my diet and eating clean, my digestive system was happy! No more bloating, gas or any feelings of heaviness in my gut - you know when nothing seems to fit right or feel right. With an improvement in my digestive system, my energy levels also improved. The fog had lifted! I felt sharper and clearer. This feeling motivates me to continue eating clean and making positive healthy choices. After all, aren't we worth it?
Thank you to all my fellow challengers for participating and sharing in this experience. I look forward to sharing the next cleanse with you in Spring 2013!
What was your experience like? Have you noticed any changes in how you feel?
Be well and stay healthy!
Congratulations fellow detoxers! You made it two weeks and we are in the last stretch of our cleanse. How are things going so far? Have you been able to stick to the dietary recommendations thus far? Well, if you didn't - you are human! Don't sweat it and just keep going and follow as best you can, trying not to stray too far off.
You may have noticed that while you eat clean, drink plenty of water and rest as needed, you will feel pretty good, maybe great. On the other hand, if you have been sneeking in coffee, a glass of wine or sweets, well, let's just say its not going to help the cause. You will notice that you may feel a little sluggish, constipated, and maybe a headache or two. It's a reminder that your body is working really hard at neutralizing toxins for elimination, but can't keep up with the load.
Now to get a little personal....so, how is your...uh hum....your pooh? Yes, I said it...and you read it. Here's the thing, we have one tube in the body; it starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum with a pouch for the stomach. It is about 30 feet in length and is referred as "the digestive system". In this system is the large intestine or the bowel/colon.
The colon is approximately 5 feet long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. When we eat, ideally it takes about 12 -15 hours for the digestive system to do its magic and the waste to leave the body...poop. If the bowel is sluggish, eliminating 1 or less times a day, guess what you are constipated. "What!", you say....yes, its true. Now think back to when your kids were babies. They ate...they pooped. As we grow up and our diets change, add stress, poor digestion, inactivity, hormonal imbalances etc. can all lead to a sluggish colon. Why is this important? This leads to a backup of toxins in the system that recirculate throughout the whole body...yuck! As a practitioner, we call this auto-intoxication.
Let's take a closer look at some things that may help open the door and get things moving along:
1. Increase your fluid intake. Take your current weight, divide by 2. This is the number of ounces you should be drinking each day. This includes water, caffeine free herbal tea, juice not from concentrate, clear soup broths.
2. Increase your fiber intake. Fruits and vegetables are great natural sources of fiber. Eat 3 pieces of fruit per day. Choose apples, pears and/or peaches. The bowels love these!
3. If you are still sluggish and need a litlle help, then a herbal supplement can be useful. Choose one that contains cascara sagrada, senna or triphala. Something like Herbolax or Cleansemore. These should be a short use only option. Not recommended for long term use.
How are things going for you thus far?
Be well, and stay healthy,
Brown Rice Cereal
We are a few days into the 21 Day Detox Challenge
. How are you doing? To drink my water with my Detox Kit drops, I found myself a large glass bottle that I fill, add my drops and shake well. I bring this jar with me everywhere and make sure its within arms reach, so I don't forget to drink.
I think for most of us routine is important. The body likes routine as well. My day begins each morning with hot lemon water
. I sip this and catch up on some news or read emails. After my drink, I get my breakfast cereral ready. Its a delicious combination of brown rice and cinnamon with almond milk. To save myself some time, I have cooked up 2 cups of brown rice earlier on a day when I have more time (ie Sundays). I store the cooked rice in the fridge (and hope my husband doesn't eat it) which is on hand for various meals and my breakfast cereal. Brown rice
is considered a whole grain and is also gluten free. This makes it easier to digest than other grains such as wheat. Rich in minerals, brown rice provides a source of manganese, selenium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It also low in fat and high in fiber and provides B vitamins and vitamin K. Each 1/2 cup serving only has 108 calories. As you can see, it does offer a lot of health benefits that can help reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes and stroke. And not so bad for the waist line (in moderation, of course).
Brown rice is easy to cook and is quite versatile. In a large saucepan, add 2 cups of water (broth or apple juice) to 1 cup of rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes, remove from heat and place a lid on it. Transfer cooler riced to a glass bowl with a lid and store in the fridge for a few days until ready to use, or freeze for future use.Creamy Brown Rice Cereal
1 cup Cooked Brown Rice (long, short)
1/2 - 3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (more depending on desired consistency)
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
(available in black or white, does not need to be ground)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Small handful dried cranberries
1 Small handful slivered blanched almonds
Add all ingredients into a medium saucepan and simmer until heated through. Remove from heat and enjoy! Leftovers can be refridgerated and reheated for the next day. You may need to add more almond milk to create the desired consistency. Serves 2.
Gotta run, my Creamy Brown Rice Cereal is ready! mmmmmm, yummy!
The last week was a "pre-cleanse
" period where we worked on hydrating, improving digestion and getting the plumbing working well. How did you do?
Planning ahead and stocking your pantry and fridge will be a great help to you throughout this cleanse. If you haven't had a chance to do so yet, get on it. You will be happy you did over the coming days and weeks.
So, now you are ready to take the plunge and begin taking your Detox Kit.
The recommended dosage for an adult is 30 drops of liquid from each bottle added to 1.5 litres of pure water (not city tap water, clean well water is good). For guys, I suggest you add this to 2.0 litres of water. Try using a glass or plastic (BPA free) bottle. Refrain from stainless steel, as homeopathic remedies don't work works well with it.
My dosage recommendations are slightly different, as I feel that many people would benefit from starting off with a lower dosage for a couple of days and gradually work up to the recommended dosage. Here's how to start:
Days 1 & 2 - Add 15 drops of each bottle into 1.5 litres of water, or 5 drops of each bottle added to each 500 ml bottle/glass of water (total 1.5 - 2.0 litres/day). Sip throughout the day and follow the dietary guidelines as outlined in post "Ready, Set, Cleanse". Days 3 & 4 - Increase to 20 drops of each bottle added to 1.5 - 2.0 litres of pure water daily.
Days 5, 6 & 7 - Increase to 30 drops of each bottle added to 1.5 - 2.0 litres of pure water daily.
Some important tips to help you through the first week. Eat Clean. This is crucial. The more junk we consume, the harder the body has to work. The idea is to reduce toxins going in, and increase toxins going out. If there is more going in, and less coming out - then you may experience stronger cleansing effects. Such as: headaches, nausea, nasal congestion, and fatigue. Basically, you feel like you have a bad flu bug. If this happens, drink more fluids such as caffeine free herbal tea, clear soups and broths. Put up your feet, take it easy and rest. Don't worry it will pass in a few days and will you get stronger with more energy each day.
Be sure to keep me posted on how you are doing and where you are at.
Be well, and stay healthy!