Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflective Journaling

I love taking my journal out on New Years Eve each year to reflect on my year and write my expectations and goals for the year ahead. This year I had some trouble brainstorming on what I'd like to unfold for 2014...so I backed off and told myself that in time it will come. I realized, that's a goal in and of itself right there...to not be so all or nothing (like I usually am). It's ok if things aren't perfect. Even though this is an exercise that I've done for myself since I was a kid, who says that I have to do it?  Giving myself the permission to back off felt fantastic. Take that, perfectionism!  

What are your goals or expectations for 2014?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Expired Food in Your Pantry

While at my Aunt's house for Christmas I noticed her cinnamon tin on the table while desert was being served. I grabbed it to see if there was a date of some sort on it...this thing had to easily be from the early 80s! Believe it or not, there was no date at all, I think it was made before dates on food were even required. I laughed so hard because I blow through jars of cinnamon on the regular, but was also grossed out at the same time. 

It's so important that we throw out expired food...whether it be in our fridge or in our pantry. I check at least 3 times a year to see if I'm harboring expired stuff that I could chuck in the trash. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

How 'bout them apples?

 Every time I go into a grocery store I always grab a few apples; organic of course. This week Lammer grabbed a few since the shopping list said we needed apples. However, he did not buy the organic ones. 

Can you tell which are organic and which aren't?

Apples are on the Dirty Dozen list and should only be purchased/consumed organic. When I have a conventional apple my mouth starts to itch, it's so strange. The ones on the right are conventional, hence their gigantic size! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pumpkin Chili

This is a go-to recipe of mine that's always a hit!

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped (optional, I just use a little hot red pepper flakes)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 can organic pumpkin purée (Trader Joes has this!)
1 cup water (optional veggie or chicken broth)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 BPA-free can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 BPA-free can garbanzo (chick peas), rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cacao powder (or teaspoon of high quality dark chocolate, grated)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water (or broth), chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cacao powder or grated chocolate, sea salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

I like to serve this with a little quinoa, so I cook some quinoa while the chili is simmering and just add a few tablespoons into the bowl I'm about to eat/serve.  The chocolate and cinnamon adds a bit more depth to the dish.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Meditating on a bed of nails.

Woke up tense with a racing mind, so I practiced my morning meditation on a bed of nails.  My Shakti Mamakes me slow down, breathe deep & be here in the moment. The tiny nails stimulate my body so intensely that it releases muscle tension, just as long as I let go & relax onto them. Just finished about 2 minutes in tadasana standing on it, & about a minute on both sides of my face!  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The flu is NOT a season.

I saw this quote earlier this season & it makes SO much sense! Please share. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stanley Love Lentils

Is this dog kidding me with his eyes? And what dog loves lentils? He patiently waited for me to finish my bowl of delicious lentils, hoping that I would share them with him.  I let him lick the bowl when I was through, and he was in heaven! 

It's Clementine Season!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...clementine season!  I LOVE having bowls of bright clementines around my house.  I have a good 4-5 clementines a day during this time of year.  At least once a week I find a bruised clementine at the bottom of my purse - HA!  Aren't they just the best?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yucca Chips

My new obsession!! Chocolate coconut yucca chips from One Sweet Life, an allergy friendly baking company. These chips from heaven are FREE of gluten/dairy/wheat/flour/eggs/soy/preservatives & handmade!!  They're also from East Brunswick.  Jersey represent!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fall-spiced Water in My Eco-Jarz

Once it gets colder we forget that we need to keep drinking water to stay hydrated. Love my ecojarz lid - enjoying my fall-spiced water today.  Filtered water with sliced apple, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Homemade spiced hot chocolate to end the day with.

About 2 cups almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cinnamon, nutmeg, & cardamom

Heat milk and chocolate on low heat over the stove until hot. Stir in maple syrup and spices and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We're Homeowners!

Life has been a rollercoaster the past 2 years...but I've been LOVING the ride! Lammer and I closed on our NEW home today and I couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter of our lives. Even though this has been an uber-stressful few months getting this to fall into place, it's all really great stress to have. I'm ever-so grateful and because of that, I'm able to really enjoy all that's happening. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Contrast Shower

In the colder months I love taking contrast showers to improve circulation.  My showers are super hot then I'll turn the dial to freezing cold for at least 20 seconds! It's sooo invigorating and such a silly way to start the day.  I always giggle and squeal from how crazy it feels!! It can help reduce muscle soreness by moving lactic acid out of the muscles so I love it for my sore neck and shoulders or after a hard workout. Some people also think this type of shower can help detoxify the body and improve the immune system. Either way it's energizing and gets my blood flowing, let me know if you give it a try!   

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cereal, jacked up.

 Every so often I like to treat myself to a bowl of cereal but when I do I love doctoring it up! 
I blend half a banana, a tablespoon of maple syrup, chia seeds, maca powder & raw cacao powder with almond (or coconut) milk. I love gluten free Puffins so I pour the sweet, frothy milk-mixture on top of them. My fav!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homemade Granola

One of my favorite things to throw in the oven is a fresh batch of granola. It warms the house up with such a delicious scent and leaves you with handfuls of sweet treats for days to come.  It's best to use raw, organic ingredients whenever possible.  These measurements are flexible; don't worry too much about being exact. Get creative and use any combination of healthy ingredients to make your own flavor. *If you're grain-free, feel free to follow this recipe without the rolled oats but load up on more nuts/seeds & dried fruits!

2 cups rolled oats, aka old fashion oats (gluten free oats if GF)
1 cup raw nuts, chopped (I love sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc.)
1/2 cup raw seeds (I love sunflower, pumpkin, chia, etc.)
1/4 cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional, I love dried apple during the fall!)
3 tablespoons grade-B maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-2 egg whites (optional, but if you want a chunkier granola go for it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large pinch sea salt
sprinkle of cinnamon
handful of raisins

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients (except raisins) into a mixing bowl, using your hands to toss and coat.  The coconut oil may be solid, but your hands should warm it up so that there aren't any chunks left in the mixture.  Things will get sticky and messy, but that's the fun part about it!  Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted.  Give the mixture a stir and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes, stirring another time.  When the granola starts to brown a bit, it's ready.  Toss raisins into the granola and let cool before serving or storing.  This will keep in an airtight container in a dry place for up to 2 weeks.  I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator.   ENJOY!

I'm psyched to have recently added goat and sheep milk's yogurt into my diet (with NO negative dairy side effects!), so I treated myself to a lovely parfait with the granola I made, as you can see above!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Naps are Nice

Even though we gained an hour with day light savings recently, I'm all thrown off.  I've been getting to bed even earlier than usual (my bed time is a strict 10pm, no questions!), and have been napping as often as I can.  Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of napping for long periods of time each day, so even as little as a 15-minute snooze during my day has been a blessing.  I can't believe how invigorated I feel after getting a little shut-eye.  Honor your body this fall.  When it's tired, give it rest.  It's darker our earlier so that we head to bed earlier.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Faux Candy Apples

Candy apples...sigh.  So good!  Here is a much healthier version of these sweet treats:

6 crispy organic apples

1/2 cup well-stirred smooth natural peanut butter, at room temperature 
1/2 cup brown rice syrup, at room temperature 
6 skewers 
Parchment or wax paper 

 Stick skewers in the bottoms of the apples. Place a piece of parchment paper over a cutting board. Stir peanut butter and brown rice syrup together in a small sauce pan. Gently heat over low heat, stirring constantly with a fork, just until smooth and heated through. If it seems stiff, turn the heat off immediately and add a little extra brown rice syrup, until it’s fluid again. Use a spoon to spread peanut butter caramel over the entire apple. Place apple on the parchment or wax paper and place in fridge.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What Makes Me Happy Right Now: Random acts of kindness, Hanumen album & mushroom risotto.

Today, my lovely wellness coordinator, Jamilia, hosted her own seminar, Random Acts of Kindness.  I am SO proud of her and her amazing efforts.  The seminar has me bursting with gratitude and anxious to spread kindness throughout my life.

1.  Random Acts of Kindness.  Jamilia's presentation made me want to practice kindness a heck of a lot more than I already am.  Not only to others, but also to myself.  I am excited to think of different ways that I can practice more kindness in my everyday routine.

2.  The last two tracks on The Hanumen album.  The last two tracks on the Hanumen album have been on repeat on my phone for the past 3 days...and I'm still not sick of it.  It's so gosh darn beautiful.  Going to see Jai Uttal & Gaura Vani tonight for a kirtan, eeeeee!!!

3.  Mushroom risotto.  Growing up Italian, you'd think I would have eaten loads of risotto.  Nope.  Not in my family.  Weird, ey?  I've been recently experimenting with this creamy goodness in my kitchen and came up with a yummy shiitake risotto.  I think it still has some work but in the meantime I'm totally enjoying every delicious bite.

4.  This inspiring thought:  Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life. 

5.  The leaves changing.  The fall foliage is as it's best like, right now at this very moment. As an artist I can't get enough of some of the brilliant colors that are all around!  Such a treat to the eyes!

Back in March of 2012 I decided to do these posts because 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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Feel Gratitude, Laugh it Off

Yesterday was one of those days where one thing went wrong early in the morning and it just set the tone for the day.  One after the other things just kept going wrong, I kept stumbling upon frustration after frustration.  By mid-day I was ready to explode.  I didn't know if I was going to break down and cry my eyes out or scream and tell someone off.  All I wanted to do was cross my arms, make a puss and stomp my feet around!  But...I didn't.  In fact, as one unfortunate thing happened after another, I kept my cool.  I kept thinking of all I have to be grateful for, even in the frustrating circumstances I was facing.  By late day all I could do was just laugh at how things were still coming up, going wrong!  Being a laughter yoga teacher, I constantly remind my students to laugh at themselves and things that happen in their life.  It really does work and it certainly worked for me!  

I got into bed last night and instead of mulling over every crappy thing that happened (like the $25 parking ticket, or the tiff I got into with a coworker, etc.) I thought about all of the blessings that I have instead.  Yea, it was super annoying that I had to drive over the Tappen Zee bridge 3 times because my GPS took me the wrong direction somewhere but hey, at least I have a fully functioning car!  I laughed at everything the day was throwing at me and ended up sleeping it off, waking up to a new fresh start.  Take that crappy-day!  

Don't get me wrong, this takes work and lots of patience.  But if I can do it, so can you! 

Gratitude...it works!  Laughing things off...that works too!!!  

I wrote this because this was the words of wisdom on my tea bag this morning.  How fitting!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spooky Stovetop Popcorn

Unfortunately, microwave and movie theater popcorn should be avoided since they are loaded with artificial flavoring and processed salt. On the other hand, homemade popcorn is a delicious treat that can be made with all natural, organic ingredients! Homemade popcorn only takes around 5 minutes, so it doesn’t even take that much longer than the microwave. It’s also much less expensive!  Every time I make this recipe for parties or events I've got friends and family begging to make more.  I hope you enjoy it as much as they do!

½ cup organic popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons coconut oil
sea salt 
2 tablespoons white truffle oil
1-2 tablespoons grade B 100% maple syrup

1. Make sure to have all of your ingredients, pan, lid, and bowl ready to go - once the popcorn starts, you may not have time to dig around your kitchen looking for things! Heat coconut oil in a covered saucepan on medium heat.

2. Add two popcorn kernels to the oil and wait until they pop – this will tell you when the oil is ready. Carefully remove the two kernels.

3. Add the rest of your popcorn to the oil – only enough for a single layer at the bottom of the pan. Put the lid back on the pan, slightly vented, and give the pan a few shakes.

4. Monitor the popcorn (do not walk away), shaking the pan occasionally.
As soon as the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat and let it finish popping.

5. Carefully pour the popcorn into a bowl and drizzle with white truffle oil, maple syrup and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Shake/stir the bowl well to coat popcorn.  
Since it's halloween, I love adding eyeball ping pong balls to make it spooky and fun!  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Meal Planning: Getting your veggies in!

I live on the Jersey shore.  I work in Westchester, NY and am away from home for the first few days of every week.  This has been my life for the past 9 years now...so I've gotten pretty good at meal planning so that I'm not stuck up in NY without any food.  Yes, I could easily go out and spend loads of money on food for breakfasts/lunches/dinners but not only do I not want to waste my money, but I also don't feel like consuming their poor quality foods.  Call me a snob, but I don't care.

This past week I noticed I hadn't gotten in as many veggies as I should have so I made sure to get them wherever I could to make up what I missed!  Above you'll see some spiralized "zoodles" that I made with my beloved Spiralizer.  I steamed some broccoli and blended it up into a pesto sauce to pour over the noodles. Of course, whenever I'm doing anything in the kitchen, I've always got some eggs on the stove to hard boil.  Such a nice portable way to get in quality protein and nutrition.  I also baked some carrot ginger muffins...gluten free of course.  The shredded carrot makes these so sweet and the ginger gives an exciting pop when you get in a bite.  

Healthy eating takes effort, there is no denying that. It's important to get your veggies in however you can, whenever you can.  Make the effort to think about your week, look at what you have in the fridge and google away some recipes or ideas of what to do for some meals.  Your body and well-being will certainly THANK YOU!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Don't forget to savasana

If you're a regular in my yoga classes, you've heard me say this time and time again...savasana is THE MOST important pose in your yoga practice!  It's also the hardest because most of us (if not all of us) have such a hard time letting go.  

Here in the West we've taken yoga to a very different place.  There's loads of "power" yoga classes, challenging yoga in gyms (with little to no spiritual aspect), and way to much ego-driven desires to get into certain poses.  It's a shame, because that is SO far from what yoga is.  

The relaxation aspect of yoga is crucial.  It's a major part of such a beautiful practice.  It's important to rest and relax throughout your yoga practice, in between poses so that your body can soak up all of the benefits.  Savasana is the climax to your yoga practice!  

It warms my heart to see my students melt into their mats at the end of class.  It's also a great reminder for me, as a teacher, to practice more savasana!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Healing the Thyroid

My friend and fellow health coach, Stephanie Martel, and I gave a workshop this past weekend on Healing the Thyroid.  We had an excellent group of people and shared lots of natural healing options when it comes to nourishing and caring for the thyroid.  You can find Steph at the Vibrant Living Project!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Benefits of Dry Brushing

The most invigorating part of my day is the few moments before I get into my morning shower with my dry brush! Just a minute or two of dry brushing a day keeps my skin glowing and my insides healthy. Have you read my recent article on it on the Conscious Connection Magazine?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

Who can resist sweet potato fries?  Not this girl!  Whenever there is a combo of sweet and salty, I'm eating it.  I love keeping sweet potatoes in the house this time of year to throw in the oven for my version of "fries."  Sometimes I'll even cube them up small and cook them the same way. Either way they're always fantastic.

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin fry-size pieces
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
few dashes of cinnamon, sea salt, pepper, cumin and all spice

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until sweet potatoes are coated.  Scatter onto a cookie sheet and throw into oven.  Check back in 10 minutes and give them a good flip.  Check back in another 10 minutes and flip again.  Check every 5 minutes after this until they are soft enough to stick a fork through, and they should be starting to brown.  If you like they a bit crispier, keep them in a little longer.  (Timing for these totally depends on your oven).  Serve with organic ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Switch Up Your Toothpaste

Have you ever noticed that there is a poison warning on your dental care products telling you not to swallow it?  Toothpaste and other dental care products fall under personal care products and are therefore not under the control of the FDA - they can literally put anything in there.

I became wary of toothpaste after I began researching how toxic fluoride is to our bodies.  I first switched to whatever brands my health store had in stock but learned they just have some similar ingredients and still some that interfere with tooth care. For instance, glycerin is something that has been put into tooth paste to coat your teeth, intending that it will prevent cavities. The problem is, it takes approximately 20 rinses to remove it,  meanwhile the saliva in your mouth that is designed to remineralize your teeth is prevented from doing so. Glycerine is not a good ingredient. As a matter of fact there is not much that is necessary in tooth paste at all.  Most ingredients are sweeteners and chemicals, including anti freeze!  What?!  We are better off brushing our teeth with a dry brush then adding these items into your body. 

Here are the toothpastes in my bathroom cabinet as we speak:

To the right is what you'll find in our bathroom cabinet.  The farthest to the left, Desert Essence's Natural Tea Tree Oil toothpaste is what Lammer uses.  As of right now, this is the best I can do for him.  If it were up to him he'd still be using his Aquafresh, and I simply just won't allow that anymore!  The great thing about this toothpaste is it is fluoride free, gluten free (gluten is in freakin' everything!), and sodium laurel sulfite free.  It also tastes great and is still really foamy.  You can find Desert Essence at any health food store or Whole Foods.

Earthpaste is my new thang.  Here are the ingredients to the cinnamon flavored one I'm currently using:  Purified Water, Food Grade Redmond Clay®, Xylitol, Cinnamon Essential Oil, Redmond Real Salt®, Tea Tree Oil.
You've got the option of either swallowing or spitting this out after you've finished brushing...that's how legit it is.  After brushing I actually add a little water and swish so that the taste of the paste can really clean my whole mouth.  You can buy Earthpaste online.  

Auromere...my absolute favorite!  This is an Ayurvedic toothpaste that comes in a few flavors.  The cardamom-fennel is my go-to.  Here's another brand that commits to no fluoride, gluten, chemicals or artificial sweeteners.  They use plants, bark, roots, flowers and essential oils to clean and freshen the teeth.  Neem, which is used a lot in Ayurveda has invigorating properties for dental health.  You can find Auromere at any health food store or Whole Foods.

Ora Wellness's HealThy Mouth Blend should be in everyone's bathroom.  This blend is made of all organic and essential oils and is not only great for cleansing, but great for overall mouth health.  You can floss, brush or rinse your mouth out all with this tiny bottle of oil.  I love keeping a shot glass in my cabinet, filling it with water and 2-3 drops of this blend and swishing.  It leaves such a fresh and clean feeling.  Their products can be found online and I highly recommend subscribing to their newsletter which is always filled with loads of helpful information.  

Turkey Roll-Ups

Love suggesting this option to my carnivorous clients. Making some of these for lunch is a great and delicious way of steering clear of gluten-filled breads/wraps.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Avoid Frightening GMOs this Halloween

There is NOTHING scarier than GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), along with a host of other harmful additives, ingredients and who-knows-what in our foods, including almost every Halloween candy out there that you can imagine. This Halloween, be mindful of what candy you consume not only for yourself and your family, but also the candy that you choose to give away to the trick-or-treating kiddies at your door!

Here are 4 companies you can trust when it comes to 
avoiding dangerous GMOs:

UNREAL Candy - They’ve taken the five most popular chocolate bar type candies and they’ve recreated them using natural ingredients and natural dyes. Can be found at many local Grocery stores, Target, or on Amazon.com.

Endangered Species Chocolate - These chocolates are great-tasting (some have nuts), individually-wrapped, and reasonably priced. The company donates 10 percent of net profits to supporting species, habitat and humanity. Find at your local health food store or order online.

YumEarth Lollipops & Fruit Snacks - This is a candy that's free of common allergens like peanut, gluten and soy and is also free of dyes, corn syrup, GMOs and more. Find at your local health food store or order online.

Annie’s - Gummy snacks, pretzels or crackers in snack-size packs for something savory. All Annie's items are non-GMO. Find at your local health food store or order online.

Please remember: Candy is candy, and even if it's made with organic, fair-trade, sustainably harvested and naturally occurring everything, it won't solve the health epidemics we have here in America due to too much sugar and poor quality food ingredients.  Each bite of candy is a treat, so please enjoy in moderation.  
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Naturally Whiten Your Teeth with Oil Pulling

The practice of oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago.  Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria. The benefits from oil pulling also include helping with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and much more.

Basically, you swish a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil (coconut, sesame, sunflower or olive) in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out and rinse well.  Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything.  I actually will do it right before I jump in the shower so that the time passes and I'm doing other things while I'm oil pulling.  

How to do oil pulling:
1. Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth. (I only oil pull with 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil.) If it's solid it will melt in your mouth from the heat of your body. 
2. Swish for 20 minutes, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.
3. Spit oil into the trash can…don’t spit into the sink! Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria, toxins and pus that are now not in the mouth.
4. Rinse well with warm water. 
5. Brush well to make sure any remaining bacteria is killed.

This can be practiced daily to reap the benefits of teeth whitening, or once a week or even once a month.  Whatever you're comfortable with.  Please share your experience with me!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How do you stay healthy?

I can confidently say that I'm the strongest & healthiest I've ever been in my life because I am committed to maintaining great overall health:
I eat loads of healthyfats.
I take cat-naps when I can.
I practice yoga everyday on and off the mat.
I say NO to things when I am busy or feeling overwhelmed.
I meditate a few minutes at some point of each day.
I do Purely Twins workouts on the regular because they are quick & kick my butt.
I limit my sugar intake.
I laugh a lot.
I've broken up with gluten. (Bastard!)
I have the best fitness trainer there is at Condition for Life, Mike Cassalle!
I am barefoot most of the time to stay grounded. 
I just eat real food and I love preparing it myself.
I take really good care of my teeth and mouth.
I start each day with hot H2o, lemon & cayenne pepper.
I spend time in the sunshine.
I listen to my body when it speaks to me (symptoms) and nourish it with what it needs.
I chant all day long.
I keep a positive attitude.
I surround myself with inspiring people...
...I can keep going! 

 All of this in some way helps in improving my overall health. 
 How do you stay healthy?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Clean Your Tongue

I was first introduced to scraping the tongue in my yoga teacher training.  In India and in Ayurvedic practices, the hand (fingers) are used to scrape the tongue each morning as a kriya (cleansing technique).  You can easily use a tongue scraper - an inexpensive yet transformative utensil, is a simple, thin, u-shaped piece of stainless steel. It consists of a blunted edge that removes plaque and build-up from the surface of the tongue. The tongue cleaner also prevents bad breath, especially for people who eat a lot of dairy and build up mucus in the mouth, nose, and throat.

The tongue cleaner comes from the tradition of Ayurveda, which asserts that people who use one are better at public speaking, express themselves more thoughtfully, and speak more sincerely and authoritatively. Some people ask if the same effect can be gained by brushing the tongue with a stiff toothbrush. Brushing the tongue moves stuff around and is helpful, but a tongue cleaner is more effective as it clears out the deep deposits and generally keeps the area cleaner, stimulated and alive.

Cravings can be reduced by cleaning the tongue of leftover food. When the mouth can still taste the food, you may experience cravings for previously eaten foods. A tongue cleaner reverses the process of desensitizing your taste buds, which has happened to everyone to a greater or lesser extent. It allows you to taste more subtle flavors in food so that you can eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains with greater joy. When old residue is removed from the tongue, you will be better able to taste your food and won’t need to eat as much since you will have gained greater satisfaction from your meal.

And finally, a big advantage is that it enhances kissing because it makes the tongue more sweet, fresh and sensitive. If you are in a relationship, we invite you to check this out with your partner. Make an agreement to scrape twice a day for one week, and notice the difference.  Kissie-kissie!!!

·       Apply a few quick strokes, 2-3 times a day, or after brushing your teeth.
·       Use the rounded cleaning edge to scrape gently down the tongue several times, while applying slight pressure.
·       Rinse under running water and gently scrape again until no white residue is left.