Feel Your Best Tip: This Will Help You Relax

Feel Your Best Tip: This Helps Me Relax

5/23/16 — In yoga classes, we talk a lot about breath, and for good reason. Changing our breath changes how we feel.

Even just one minute of slow, conscious, deep breathing can cause our nervous systems to initiate a mode that some refer to as “rest and digest.”

It’s the opposite of “fight or flight”—which is the way many of us operate by default because of chronic stress, and causes all kinds of sickness and dis-ease.

But deep breathing can take us out of that pure survival at all costs mode, and a bunch of really good stuff happens as a result! Blood pressure goes down. Our heart rates settle. We become better able to think things through. Our bodies start to direct resources toward nonessential functions, like digestion and the immunity. We start to feel more peaceful. The list goes on.

I find that deep breathing helps when I’m stressed, and doing it regularly during a meditation practice has helped me to get less stressed in the first place! See how it makes you feel.

 

Feel Your Best Tip: Drink Water, Skip Ice

Feel Your Best Tip: Drink Water, Skip Ice

5/15/16 — Today’s tip:  hold the ice in your water.

I try to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. It makes my skin brighter and it energizes me, not to mention all the other listed benefits, like how it’s detoxing, boosts immunity, digestion… getting enough water is even linked with headache relief, weight loss, and being in a good mood!

But here’s the thing, many say it’s best to skip the ice and I find that’s true. Room temperature water is easier to drink, and it’s also less shocking on our systems. Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, says that ice extinguishes our digestive fire. In other words, ice cubes make it harder for us to effectively process everything we take in—which is crucial for feeling like our best selves.

So sip room temperature, perhaps even occasionally warm water throughout the day. See how it makes you feel!

What’s a Positivity Diet?

What’s a Positivity Diet?

3/7/16 — The idea of the “positivity diet” was something that I started thinking about after two things happened.

First, my fiancé was getting ready to leave for a business trip, and for a few days leading into it I was totally bummed out. I was barely able to enjoy his company because I was so caught up in the anticipation of our distance.

Second, beer and bar food summed up my Saturday night.

The short of it is that I find it’s frighteningly easy—and probably human nature—to dwell on the negatives.

In diets, we often obsess, and crucify ourselves, over all the things we “shouldn’t” be eating. In rich moments with loved ones, we/I all-too-easily focus on lack and being without.

So I’d like to try something different.

For food, instead of dwelling on all the stuff I shouldn’t eat, I want to emphasize bringing more good stuff in.

I want to weave more fruits and veggies into my diet, and I want to be playful and creative with it. No pressure; it can be a fun challenge! One recipe in my cookbook is for brownies with zucchini. I’m also going to play with more interesting combinations in salads, sandwiches, and more.

To my other point, about fantasies of lack, I was very aware of the funk I was in before my fiancé left. What helped was saying short prayers asking for help, and indicating that I was willing to see things differently. I would like to keep doing that, and build on it by including a ‘thank you’ in those prayers too.

Basically whenever I’m about to complain about something, I’d like to either replace that negativity, or at least supplement it, with gratitude.

The idea is to fill ourselves up with good stuff of all kinds—from fruits and veggies to loving thoughts. I’m thinking that will leave less room for crap within us, and it’ll help us bounce back faster when we inevitably do go into a dark place of some form or another from time to time.

So try this with me! Let’s eat up the good stuff; let’s dwell on that!

I think it could be pretty sweet.

Chili…That’ll Make You Feel Peaceful

Chili…That’ll Make You Feel Peaceful

3/2/16 — This dish is full of healthy, all-natural ingredients. With veggies, lean protein, and lots of spice, I find that it fills me up without weighing me down. It’s in the Peaceful section of Nourishing Your Whole Self: A Cookbook with Feelings, and it’s great for this time of year!

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • Salt
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (or less to taste)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Jalapeno slices

Heat the oil in a large pot/skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, and a few sprinkles of salt to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes, and then add the turkey. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring often, until brown.

Stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.

For best results, make the chili a day or two in advance so the flavors can meld. Refrigerate and then reheat to serve. Top each serving with cheese, avocados, cilantro, and jalapenos.

Serves 4-6.

How to Manifest Your Dreams

How to Manifest Your Dreams

2/22/16 — I did a workshop over the weekend about manifesting.

That’s kind of a buzzword right now, but the idea is simple—our thoughts and energy show up. They manifest.

The state of our lives is a reflection of what’s going on within.

As a general rule, for a beautiful, loving life, in every situation ask yourself “what would love do?” You can’t go wrong with that.

In this video I explain how you can more specifically manifest a life you love.

Try a New Fruit

Try a New Fruit

2/15/16 — I just got back from Brazil, and I’m having tropical fruit withdrawals.

coconut_sugar_apple
I know, cry me a river, but seriously, the produce down there was nothing short of fantastic. Not only were the mangoes and papayas to die for, I also discovered some mouthwatering new stuff. Have you ever had a sugar apple? It’s that green one.

IMG_2167

Sugar apples are admittedly a little annoying to eat (they have a lot of seeds that you’ve got to spit out), but they’re worth the work. 

Acai and starfruit are pretty incredible too.

IMG_2178

I share this because it inspired me to search for more than just apples and bananas today when I went shopping. One of my purchases is this orange guy—a persimmon—which I’m not really sure how to eat, but one way or another is going to be good.

persimmon

As it turns out, most grocery stores do have at least a few “fancy” fruits, and specialty stores have even more. My fiance and I like to stop at the Asian market from time to time to buy different varieties of produce (if you go to the right place, it can be super cheap).

So join me and try something new! Whether you venture to an ethnic market or just look around for something you’ve never tried before at your local grocer, let’s be daring together. You may have to google how to eat whatever you pick up, but it’s a playful way to step out of your comfort zone and the net effect of that can be—literally—delicious!