Saturday, March 31, 2012

Going Veg? Resources to help your journey.

There are so many amazing websites, blogs and recipe sources for vegetarians/vegans online. Check out these helpful resources to help make your transition to vegetarianism an easy one.  Remember though, stay very much aware of how your body feels without meat/dairy products.  Some of us do well as "flexitarians" too!

Inspiring sites/blogs with loads of recipes:

Veggie resources, motivation, information & help:

Documentary films inspired by veggies:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Makes Me Happy Right Now

It's really easy to be suckered into negative thoughts when we're surrounded by stressful media, unhappy people and whining Facebook status updates. My guru, Swami Vishnudevananda says that for every negative thought you have, replace it with 2-3 positive ones. I love this concept and practice it regularly. I usually find the most effective way of climbing out of a negative attitude is to think about something that I'm grateful for. Feelings of gratitude really lift you up. In honor of this concept, I'm starting a post with this same theme and will blog it regularly. I'll list a few things that make me happy, lift me up and keep me smiling! Let's face it, world peace is something that will never happen. However, I can create my own little world of peace and happiness in my mind through my thoughts! Please give it a try as well and share how it affects you.

Right now I am so happy and grateful for:

1. The comforting mug of kukicha tea that is perched right between my typing hands. It's flavorful steam is flowing right up my nose and soothing my belly with every sip. YUM!

2. Gotye. His new album inspired me to pull all of his stuff from my iTunes onto one big playlist that loops alllll day long. Love him. My ears love the sounds he makes. Such great spring music.

3. My boyfriend's thoughtfulness. After 24 hours of traveling home from Bangkok (with no sleep in 48 hours), my beau greeted me with a bag full of treats I like (kombucha, coconut water, a vegan brownie, Lara bars and a pretty orange flower), and covered my apartment in beautiful rose petals. He pampers me in every which way! He's my dream come true.

4. This inspiring thought:
Feed your creativity: Expose yourself to more beauty, more art, more excellence.

5. Moments and conversations with my family members. After my long trip in Thailand with my cousin we flew to Paradise Island, Bahamas for a HUGE family vacation for my Uncle's 60th birthday. I realized how precious it is to spend time talking and getting to know each and every family member. They're all filled with different stories, quirky characteristics and inspiring lives. (This is only a small group of some of us in the Bahamas!) BTW, we're all a little crazy which makes us even better as a family!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Cup of Hot Lemon Water a Day

It is believed that 6 ounces of hot water mixed with ½ fresh squeezed lemon is an optimal start to the day, along with promoting a healthy body from the inside out. Something as simple as drinking a glass of lemon water daily can help prevent minor illnesses like the common cold and alleviate symptoms of major ailments, such as high blood pressure, some believe. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant with cleansing properties that purify a body and theoretically boost its defenses against infection and disease.

I make this cup of lemon water each morning: 1/2 juice of a lemon, hot water, 2 dashes of turmeric powder, a drip or two of raw honey or maple syrup (maybe a 1/4 of a teaspoon) and a light dash of cayenne pepper. Zing!

Read below for numerous benefits that will hopefully get you on this healthy habit each morning!

If you find that this routine doesn’t work for your body, skip the lemon squeeze and try plain hot water in the morning.

Benefits of Hot Lemon Water:

Blood pressure: Potassium-rich lemons stabilize high blood pressure and strengthen capillaries. Lemons promote relaxation, reducing feelings of anxiety or stress, all of which can trigger high blood pressure.

Colds and flu: Sipping hot lemon water encourages perspiration, which helps reduce fevers associated with colds and flu. The antibacterial properties of lemon juice soothe sore throats and decrease phlegm.

Digestive issues: Commonly considered a daily laxative, lemon water assists the digestive process, relieving symptoms of nausea, heartburn, and constipation. Lemon juice encourages the liver to increase production of bile, an acid required for digestion and the effective elimination of waste from the body.

Increased immunity: The potassium content in lemons promotes healthy brain and nerve function, boosting the immune system.

Oral health: Routine consumption of lemon water supports oral health by reducing bad breath odors and relieving pains associated with toothaches and gingivitis. However, the citric acid in lemon juice may erode tooth enamel, so be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after your daily cup.

Respiratory system: Hot lemon water breaks up congestion and calms coughing fits, providing routine relief for asthma-sufferers.

Skin care: The antiseptic nature of lemon juice cleanses skin from the inside out, resulting in a healthy glow, while high levels of vitamin C help decrease the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. Applied directly to the skin, lemon water helps scars fade and can cool the burning sensation associated with sunburn.

Stress: Vitamin C plays a vital role in stress management, particularly for individuals with compromised immune systems. Stress depletes the body's stores of vitamin C. Drinking lemon water raises the levels necessary to manage stressful effects resulting from drinking, smoking and obesity.

Weight loss: Lemons are high in pectin fiber, a key component to healthy diets and a healthy weight. Fiber reduces cravings by slowing the digestive process, increasing satisfaction after a meal.