Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is your fight song?

Let me start this story in the middle.  I’ll fill you in on the beginning later.

I was given an assignment to write an essay titled “What savasana means to me”.  In case you are not familiar with the term, savasana is the final posture held in a yoga practice also known as corpse pose.  It’s a resting posture that is commonly held lying on your back, arms and legs spread in a relaxed position, eyes closed, breathe (always :)).

 

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Stay with me, as I have a reason (“important message”) for sharing all of this.

With that, here is my essay:

When I stopped to consider what Savasana means to me, I knew the exact “feeling” of Savasana, but was at a loss for words initially. Almost instantly a song popped in my head. One that I hadn’t heard in years and almost forgot about completely. This song captured everything that I was trying to articulate.

Instead of spitting out lyrics that have already been written, let me first try to convey my definition to you in my own words:

From the beginning of yoga practice and leading up to Savasana, you are challenged by postures that push and pull and stretch and constrict. You’re summoning the will to hold positions and find stability.   Teetering from creating energy and fatigue, you may experience breakdowns or breakthroughs both physically and mentally. Once you receive the cue to roll back onto your mat and prepare for Savasana, you surrender with an exhale of what was and an inhale of what you’ve overcome. This is a celebration of the battle you’ve won and the warrior that you are. With a relaxed feeling of exhaustion and the light heart of a champion, you find peace knowing that you won this battle, but no one had to lose. This is a victory within yourself. This is your moment.

If my words aren’t powerful enough to convey the eternal victory that Savasana represents, I leave you with the song, One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston. I almost forgot about this one, but it might be the most perfect way to describe what Savasana means to me.

 

Important message:

You may have read that and thought it was the cheesiest thing ever.  Maybe it spoke to you.  Perhaps you rolled your eyes.  Regardless of your reaction, ask yourself this question:  When was the last time you did something that made you feel like the subject of a Whitney Houston song?

We all deserve to have those powerful moments that we are proud of.  Where you can’t stop smiling and you feel bliss running through your veins.  That moment where you accomplished something that didn’t come easy.  A time where you wanted to quit, but instead you saw it through.  That moment is found when you get uncomfortable.

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Whether it’s mental, physical, spiritual, relationship oriented, or a professional challenge, I want you to find that moment. If you feel compelled, I’d love for you to share your experience with me.  Let me know when this was your theme song.

 

Fitness and Foolish Expectations

America, are you for real?

Don’t worry.  This is not a political post.

Who watched the Superbowl?  Great game, good ads, and what about that half-time show?!  I thought Lady Gaga was phenomenal!  I watched in awe thinking “wow, the athleticism!”  She was hitting choreography, engaging the audience, swinging from a trapeze! All the while singing her heart out without losing her breath or missing a note.  Her level of talent is a gift.  Her dedication to working so hard at conditioning and rehearsing is true grit that you can tell she puts her full heart into.

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What did you think when you watched?  To my utmost surprise, and (quite frankly) horror, many people were bashing Gaga’s body.  (highest pitched) Whaaaaaat? People were commenting that she had a “pooch” and even claiming that she wasn’t fit enough to be wearing that outfit.  Is this some kind of joke?  Listen up people: Lady Gaga is insanely lean.  She looked incredibly fit and all of her costumes suited her incredibly well.

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A few major points that we all need to take away from this:

  1. Humans are made of this matter called flesh.  Have you ever felt flesh before? It’s designed to move, bend and stretch.  This allows us to perform movements without snapping in half or splitting until our innards spill outward.
  2. Performance wear is secured with elastic.  Elastic makes our clothing fit tightly so that our pants don’t drop to our ankles.  I’m sure the Superbowl execs appreciated the fact that Gaga’s shorts fit tightly enough so that we didn’t end up with a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction.
  3. Clothing will never fit any person that same way that is fits a plastic mannequin, and that’s a good thing!  The supple movement of our skin is what makes the human body attractive. It doesn’t matter what number is on the tag of your clothing (and I bet Gaga’s is a 0, you crazy people).

What matters is that you care for your body like you love it.  That means moving, stretching, and doing things that make you feel strong.  It also means feeding positive words to yourself, about yourself.  How can you possibly think and speak loving words about yourself if you can’t even speak them about other people?

Go show some love to yourself and someone else who needs it!

A Midnight Snack

Are you a night time snacker?

 

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For some, the evening isn’t complete without a little bite of something before bed.  I asked around to gather a list of the most common bedtime snacks and this is what I came up with:

  1. Bowl of cereal
  2. Bowl of ice cream
  3. Bowl of chips (potato, pita, tortilla)
  4. Cheese and crackers
  5. Cookies
  6. Glass of wine or a beer

Is this you?

It’s no wonder that many blame their weight gain on their post dinner treat.  Most of what people are snacking on at bedtime shouldn’t be part of a  daily menu any time of day, especially at bedtime when we are winding down to go to sleep.

Evening eating doesn’t have to be banned, though.  You can include a nighttime snack in your evening routine and still achieve your weight loss goals.  You just need to be a little more strategic in what you choose.  It appears as though many people are craving fat and carbs at bedtime.  This actually makes sense scientifically for 2 reasons:

1 Carbs cause an insulin spike that helps remove most amino acids from our blood leaving tryptophan behind.  Tryptophan is a precursor to Serotonin which is a hormone that can help reduce anxiety and induce sound sleep.

2. Fat helps slow digestion and keeps us feeling satiated white we sleep, preventing a growling stomach to act as an alarm clock.

With these 2 reasons in mind, not all fat and carbs are created equally.  Throwing highly processed junk foods down your gullet and then hitting the sack will actually have the adverse affect.  Your body will work hard to process the toxins and then you’ll wake up on a sugar high in the middle of the night.  Be strategic when choosing your evening snack.  Here is my absolute favorite:

Tart Cherries and Walnuts

Ingredients:

2/3 cup tart cherries (I get them from Costco in the freezer section.  They are already pitted and always taste delicious

1/4 cup walnuts

 

1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

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Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan.  Add the cherries and walnuts.  Scoot around until warmed through.  Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.  Add cinnamon if desired.

Cherries are even more powerful as a sleep aid as they are one of the few natural sources of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycle as well.

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, which we discussed the importance of above.

While coconut oil can give you a good energy boost during the day, it also helps your body regulate it’s hormone cycle at night.

This is likely the most perfect pre-sleep snack.  If you have one that works well for you, I’d love for you to share it with me!

Related links and sources:

Sleep

Does Coconut Oil help you sleep?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Sleep Hormone: Melatonin

What diet is right for you?

That’s a wrap!

With 2016 becoming a sweet memory, many of you are starting to think about how you’re going to shed your holiday pounds when the clock strikes 12.  Even if you have a basic idea of what you need to do, there is always that nagging suspicion that there is a magic pill that you don’t know about.  Trends and fads have dominated the nutrition industry before any of us were even born.  I have a special soap box that I reserve for rants about “diets” and I’m about to dust it off for one last time this year.

We are still living in a protein obsessed world.  It seems as though most diet trends are still glorifying protein and healthy fats while demonizing carbs.  Most plans are macronutrient focused while paying little attention to vitamins and minerals.  I love staying positive in my posts and I try to be the silver lining queen 90% of the time, but I’d like to finish off 2016 by sharing my top 3 most overrated diets of 2016:

Paleo:

What is Paleo?

AKA The Caveman Diet, this plan **ahem, lifestyle** encourages you to eat like a hunter/gatherer.  This means no potatoes, corn, grains, cheese, sugar, etc.   While I haven’t seen anyone tackle a wildebeast on this plan, I have seen many a recipes for almond meal banana bread and Paleo smoothies.  I wonder how Cavemen blended their coconut milk smoothies without electricity.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many great, healthy recipes that fall within Paleo guidelines.  I even have some Paleo style cookbooks that I love.  But the plan as a whole can be a little silly.  For example, many Paleo recipes have you replace a traditional ingredient with almond meal instead.  While almonds are good for you in moderation, they actually contain oxalates that bond to minerals preventing them from being absorbable in your body.  So, in high volume, almond meal contains too many “anti-nutrients”.   Plus, no potatoes? I die.

According to an article in Oxygen Magazine, following a strict Paleo plan may significantly reduce your intake of thiamine, calcium and riboflavin.  You could supplement with a vitamin (although I’m pretty sure hunter-gatherers weren’t taking Flintstone’s chewables).  Plus, when possible you’re better getting your nutrients from a well balanced whole food diet.

 

IIFYM (If it Fits Your Macros)

This diet isn’t all bad.  When done correctly, many have experienced favorable results both nutritionally and on the scale.  The problem with the format of this diet is that the primary rules leave much room for self sabotage.

I can macro it in.

What is IIFYM?

The diet takes into account a predetermined ratio of what balance of macronutrients you should consume (Protein/Fat/Carbs) within a designated number of calories based on your height, weight and goal.  Once you have your numbers, you basically eat anything you want so long as it fits within your macros.  If you follow this plan while incorporating fresh fruits and veggies and other high quality foods, then you should feel great.  However, many lean to highly processed, nutrient void foods.  I’ve seen people macro in Oreos and Pop Tarts, then at the end of the day when fat and carbs are up, they pour a carton of egg whites into a skillet with some spray on Pam and eat a giant protein pancake before bed.  They have now followed the basic “rules” of a plan but consumed almost no vitamins or minerals.

The HCG Diet

This wins the award for the one I hate the most.  Anytime I meet with someone who is on it I cringe.  Especially if it’s under the recommendation of their doctor.  I will never ever advise someone to not follow doctors orders, however…it never hurts to get a 2nd opinion from another qualified professional (especially if you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right).

What is the HCG Diet?

The HCG Diet combines hormone injections of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) with extreme calorie restriction (500 calories per day limit).  HCG is a hormone that pregnant women produce to support fertility and egg development.

Why I hate it:

Extreme calorie restriction is such a temporary and dangerous weight loss method.  Your body loses fat and muscle and is depleted of vital nutrients.  While you may experience extreme results quickly, you will also notice thinning hair, chronic fatigue and mood swings.  When you lose muscle mass quickly, you also weaken your body’s vital systems like your cardiovascular and respiratory system.  You are essential destroying your metabolism for the future as well.  Many people try purchasing HCG through unregulated (illegal) sources which can be even more dangerous.  Even those who administer HCG legally are required to provide the following statement:

“HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity.  There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

Stepping off soapbox.

So what the heck should you eat in 2017?

  1. Real Food.  Nothing should be entirely off limits unless you have an allergy to it. 90% (or more) of what you eat should not be coming from a box with a list of instructions.
  2. Proper portions.  Your body does an amazing job of telling you how much is enough.  If you don’t know where to begin with portion size, start small, eat slow, go for seconds if you must.
  3. Slow down! Just like I mentioned in #2.  Chew slowly and completely.  If you aren’t in Navy Seal training then stop eating like you are.

If you do better with specific guidelines in order to keep your nutrition in balance, then check out my monthly meal plans or the 21 Day DO-IT tab on this site.  You’ll find shopping lists, recipes and meal ideas that fit within a well balanced, nutrient rich plan that will help you accomplish your fitness goals.

Don’t forget to move!  Exercise will help you shape the body that you want.  It will help protect your metabolism and keep you energized both mentally and physically.

Go Celebrate!

It’s the last day of the year!  Finish it with a bang 🙂 Let’s get one more workout in before the clock strikes 12.  Whether you’re going out or staying in, this barre workout will complement  your favorite cocktail dress or your coziest sweats!

 

Cheers to 2016! I will see you on the other side 😉

 

You need these!

November is about gratitude

We have so much to be thankful for.  I should be writing a post about all of the people that I love and cherish.  There are so many of you out there, and I fully intend to pay homage to all that I am grateful for.  But for today, I want to pretend like I’m Oprah.  She is 90% love and gratitude, but 10% of the time, she just wants to tell you about her most favorite things that are “things”.  Now, because I’m just pretending to be Oprah and I’m not actually Oprah, I won’t be giving every reader a giant Santa sack full of said things, but you go ahead a pretend with me and let’s act like I am (readers proceed with screams of glee).

OK, ok.  Now that you’ve all settled down, let me begin my list of fitness related products I cannot live without.

  1. Alo Yoga’s Airbrush Leggings

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Image source: Alo Yoga

These leggings are the ultimate yoga pant.  They have just enough support.  They stay in place.  No tugging or adjusting needed while you workout or practice.  They come in a variety of colors that change seasonally.  Best of all, you can get them with a high waist or a mid-rise, to appeal to all of us.  I love a super high waist!  I cannot get enough of these.  They also come in capri length and shorts.

2. Spiritual Gangster’s ‘Like You’ muscle tank.

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(image source and link to purchase)

Clothing with a cause is never a bad thing, right?  Not only does your purchase support Feeding America, but the statement across your chest has multiple meanings.  Spiritual Gangster collaborated with Savannah Guthrie to design a product that promotes love, acceptance and unity.“Like You” has multiple meanings, sharing love as in “I like you.” Acceptance to “like yourself.” And Unity showing “we are all alike.” (statement pulled from spiritualgangter.com).

If you try to purchase a tank and it’s sold out, check back.  They restock often.

3. APL Training Shoes

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(image and purchase source)

 

Now I’m really channeling my inner Oprah, because if you read her list of favorite things, you may remember this brand being featured.  APL stands for Athletic Propulsion Labs.  The name alone makes you think “scientific revolution!”.  I did not order the style featured above. I got a lightweight trainer.  At first I wasn’t sure I was going to keep them, but I gave them a chance a wore them around the gym while I trained.  My feet were like “Yes!”.  They are lightweight yet supportive.  They have a flexibility to them so they stay comfortable even on the longest of days.  I am a fan of the ones I ordered, but now that I’ve seen the ones pictured above, I have major shoe envy.  How did I miss these yellow balls of sunshine?  They are the color of a perfectly ripe banana.  They are screaming “happy feet”.  If you don’t prefer yellow shoes, don’t worry.  They offer a color palette ranging from incredibly subtle to completely electric.

4. Yoga Wheel

yoga-wheel

(source and purchase link)

If you’re looking at this thing like Huh?  I don’t blame you.  Initially, I was not a fan.  Here is how I was converted: Someone told me that they didn’t like yoga wheels and didn’t see the point in using one.  I felt like I had to defend the yoga wheel, so I grabbed it and started demonstrating all of the wonderful things you could do with it.  In my demonstration, I was not only changing the mind of the hater, but I was selling myself on my new favorite prop.  You can use the wheel for balance, strength , flexibility and core work.  Stay tuned, because I’m going to be sharing an entire workout using the yoga wheel.  If you Google “yoga wheel” you’ll find tons of brands.  They also come in multiple sizes.  Mine is 12 inches in diameter and 5 inches wide.

5. Rimless Cat Eye Sunnies 🙂

quay-lexi

(photo source and purchase link)

I know that sunglasses aren’t technically a fitness product, however, eye health is a key component to overall health.  So put some UV protection over those peepers.  Winter is coming and snow can produce quite a glare.  I am an uncontrollable sunglass snob and a self proclaimed eyewear connoisseur, so you can trust my judgement on this.  Quay Australia’s sunglasses are not only high quality, but they are trendy and very reasonable priced.  You won’t feel guilty about buying a new pair each season 🙂

Let’s wrap this up!

There you have it.  My top 5 must haves for the Basic Fitness Gal (I refuse to say the “b” word) in your life.  Let me wrap this up with something else that is my favorite 🙂  If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know that hugging has never been my strong suit.  But, I’ve been practicing and it’s becoming more natural.  So, this holiday season, as you start to feel the joy convert to stress, take a step back and breathe.  A close embrace will release oxytocin for you and the recipient.  A warm hug can cut the winter chill.  You can’t walk arm in arm with someone while stifling a smile.  And best of all, hugs are free and never run out of stock.

cactus-hug

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You know how this has to end…

You get a hug!  You get a hug!  You get a hug!  Every body gets a big bear huuuuuuuuuuuuuuug!!!!

Peace & Love,

Yo-prah 🙂

We are America

Can someone tell me who won the presidential election this week?

I’ve been really busy.  I totally missed it.

Obviously, I’m kidding.

 

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We did our thing 🙂

I see you.  I hear you.  I know that the world is currently divided.

Too often, we react out of fear.  We get louder when we aren’t heard. We don’t tolerate what we don’t understand.

Current situation: Half of the US population did not get what they wanted.  60 million people “won” and 60 million people “lost”.

I’m an Ohio girl, so let me speak O-H-I-O for a minute.  If you know anything about the Buckeyes, you know Michigan is our biggest rival.  What happens when we beat Michigan?  People light their porch couches on fire and riot in the streets.  What happens when we don’t beat Michigan?  People still light their porch couches on fire and take to the streets.  Same outcome.

michigan

(Sorry, dad.  I had to)

 

We have somehow managed to treat the democracy of our country like a 120 million person football team.  Even the candidates behaved like coaches (player compensation, “locker room” abuse, etc),  We, as a nation (team) followed suit and got behind our red or blue with the passion of a double overtime championship game.  Basically, no matter who won, half of the world was going to light some dumpster fires and get tear gassed.

With such strong, divided opinions, people’s hearts are hardening.  If you’re feeling fearful, angry, disappointed or defeated, please don’t let that feeling last for long.  We are America.  Opportunity is everywhere,  When you openly identify what you’re grateful for, it multiplies.  When you focus on fear, it grows.  You become what you constantly think about.  Don’t manifest hate, fear, or anger.

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If you are experiencing fear or anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.  Additionally, you may find this book to be a valuable resource.  It is part of my daily ritual 🙂

Order a copy here.

America, let’s take off the cleats and helmets.  Save your tackles for Black Friday.  I invite you all to join me for a yoga practice.  In fact, if you are feeling anxious, I challenge you to do yoga for the next 3 days in a row.  Just try it.  See if it helps 🙂

If you don’t have access to a yoga instructor near you, try alternating between these 2 classes:

 

I have one word.  Regardless of your party affiliation, I say: Namaste.  The light within me honors the light within you. I will not judge you based on your political opinions.  I will not even judge you for being a Michigan fan.  Take a brief sabbatical from solving the worlds problems.  Breathe.  Clear your mind.  Give someone a hug.  Then you can go back to passing bills, balancing budgets and reforming health care…or rioting in the streets.  You do you…but first, do yoga.

namaste

Namaste,

Yolanda

Your Wellness is Top Priority

On a Serious Note:

An organization recently reached out to me called RecoveryPride.org in an effort to raise awareness and offer support to those who may be suffering from an eating disorder.  As someone who works in the fitness industry, I want people to feel empowered by their strength through balanced nutrition, exercise and community. For some, this area is isolating and dangerous.  If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, you may find this article a valuable conversation starter or a sign to get help.  This article was contributed from Michelle at recoverypride.org.  If it speaks to you, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

A Look At Eating Disorders And Their Effects

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Photo via Pixabay by Mark_Mook_Fotografie

 

Eating disorders come in many different forms, but they have similar effects on the body and mind. Extreme weight loss, hair loss, confusion and memory issues, organ failure, heart attack, stroke, and death have all been associated with these disorders, making them extremely dangerous for the individual. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are a few of the most common disorders, and while much study has been done on the cause and effect surrounding them, there still remains a stigma attached to the words that keeps many people from understanding their nature. What many people don’t know is that eating disorders begin in the brain and take hold as a mental issue, which must be addressed at the same time as the physical problems during treatment.

Some who suffer with an eating disorder believe that they must deny themselves food as a form of punishment, either for a wrongdoing that is real or imagined. These individuals may also cut themselves or practice other methods of self-harm. For others, an eating disorder may come about after suffering trauma or living in a dysfunctional environment. Whatever the cause, eating disorders can wreak havoc on the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of an individual and often, their families suffer as well. It’s imperative that a person living with one of these issues seek help rather than try to get healthy on their own or self-medicate with substances, which is common with eating disorders. In some cases, the individual might use drugs or alcohol to suppress appetite or cope with the physical pain that comes with extreme weight loss. In reality, substances only add to the problem and do more harm than good when it comes to a person’s emotional state. They can also lead to isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Some of the warning signs of an eating disorder include:

  • Severe restriction of food intake
  • Eating a big portion at the dinner table but going to the bathroom immediately afterward
  • Hiding food, binge-eating
  • Keeping up a hardcore exercise routine
  • Excessive use of laxatives
  • Obsessed with weight loss and the number on the scale

These behaviors can lead to issues with the esophagus and teeth, bone density, electrolyte balance, and dehydration. If you suspect a loved one is living with an eating disorder and their health is declining, don’t hesitate: reach out to them. Let them know you care about what happens to them and that you are listening. It won’t be an easy road to recovery, but it’s imperative to try and introduce treatment as soon as possible.

Substance abuse is a separate issue and must be dealt with as such. Contact a doctor, therapist, or counselor to see about starting a treatment program and finding healthy ways to cope and recover.

 

 

Should You Try a Cleanse?

Your Squeaky Clean Routine

I’m often asked about cleanses.  People want to know if they are effective, safe, necessary and most of all, they want to know which type of cleanse is best.

My honest opinion:

If you are healthy and not experiencing any undesirable symptoms, then it is unlikely that you need or will benefit from a cleanse.  Just keep doing what you’re doing.  However, If you are experiencing mild symptoms like bloating, acne, fatigue, dry hair and/or skin, etc. then you will benefit from making some lifestyle changes and a cleanse and be a good jumpstart or maintenance plan while you proceed to make more permanent lifestyle improvements.  First things first, let me boldly state: I strongly proclaim that you should A) check with your doctor if you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, and B) tell your doctor about the cleanse that you are considering.  The good new is, the different types of cleanses that I am going to recommend are not supplement based, are easy to follow, and you won’t hate them!

Most people hear cleanse and think detox tea or lots of pills or just juice for days.  There are cleanses like that, but I’m going to share my 3 favorite types of cleanses with you.

1. The Yoga Cleanse

Many may surprised that this is even a thing, but cleansing doesn’t actually have to be food based.  Cleanses are designed to help the body eliminate toxins.  Anything that supports your circulatory system, lymphatic system and digestive system is going to help you to detoxify the body.  Stretching, twisting, and intentional breathing is an incredibly powerful way to to support and engage all of these systems.

To complete a Yoga cleanse, I suggest doing Yoga 6 days per week for 28 days.  Of course, it would be ideal to continue to incorporate yoga or functional stretching into your life for the long haul, but to complete the cleanse, commit to 4 weeks to allow your body to recognize the full benefits of this type of cleanse.

  • Practice for 20-60 minutes first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (with the exception of 6-8 ounces of warm lemon water so that you aren’t parched while you practice)
  • Begin with gentle postures and build up to more intense ones
  • If you are an inexperienced yogi, seek guidance from a yoga professional first
  • Complete another 5-15 minutes of yoga or meditation before bed

While it’s always important to stay hydrated, while on a yoga cleanse it becomes even more imperative that you drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of clean water each day.

Try this class to get you started:

2. Whole Food Cleanse

The whole food cleanse is a commitment to eating only whole, unprocessed, organic foods for a period of time.  To receive the full benefits of this cleanse, I suggest you stay on it for at least 14 days.

whole-food-cleanse

  • Keep the number of ingredients included in each meal to 5 or less
  • Snacks should be a single ingredient (ex. an apple or a serving of walnuts or a sweet potato. Not all of those things, just one thing)
  • Animal products are fine, but should be limited to 1 serving per day, as they slow digestion and the purpose of the cleanse is to keep things moving
  • Because you will be eating more plant based foods, consider steam most of the veggies you eat to aid in more gentle digestion

3. Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses come in countless shapes and sizes.  People either love them or hate them.  Because we’re all coming from a different place with goals that vary, I’ll just tell you about my favorite type of juice cleanse, then you do you 😉

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  • I prefer a cleanse that lasts 1-3 days.  Longer cleanses are difficult to transition out of and I find that I feel worse instead of better.
  • Have 6 freshly made juices each day.  Avoid juices that contain preservatives and have been bottled and shelved for months or more.  Most juice companies that specialize in cleanses are acceptable as they do not add preservatives and do make sure that you know the optimum shelve life of their product.
  • If you are active (or even if you aren’t) make sure that 2-3 of your juices contain more than 15 grams of protein each day.
  • Drink juices that contain more vegetables than fruit.
  • If you feel weepy, foggy or like you might have a complete meltdown, try added a TBSP of flaxseed, coconut oil, EVOO, or sesame oil.
  • Don’t be a hero.  If you have to eat something solid, don’t think you’ve failed.  This cleanse is for you and no one else.  If you need a few slices of avocado or some nut butter on the side, so be it.  I’m a huge fan of staying sane 🙂

There are so many types of cleanses that can treat many types of ailments.  Your best bet is always going to be well rounded nutrition for life, but cleanses can offer a great jumpstart.  If you’re going to try one, find a cleanse companion or crew.  It’s always for fun and easier to stay on track with you have a community. Or, just ask me 🙂 You know I’m game!


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Saving the Craving

Have you ever noticed your weeks fall into themes?

Does the same concept, idea or struggle repeat itself to you over and over until you finally pay some attention to it?  I see these subtle themes form often, but by the end of this week, the theme has been glaringly obvious.  I’ve had more people than ever reach the (pardon my french) “screw it” phase of their relationship with nutrition.

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Can you relate?  You’ve been making good choices, even seeing progress and results (maybe not fast enough for your preference, but they’re coming).  Then, you have a bad day and you’re in the carbs like Buddy the Elf.

I’ve read every book I can get my hands on about this phenomena.  Food is surely the most popular (legal) substance used for coping.  Scientifically, it actually makes sense.  We are ruled by our hormones.  It’s one of the fastest (again, legal) ways to change our hormones.  Most books you read on the subject will tell you to focus on self-love, self-acceptance, self-respect.  I think that’s all a big load of hooey.  I bet most of you are just as well adjusted and self respecting as any of us.  The key to breaking this cycle is to find other ways to regulate your hormones.  Before you go seeking the nearest prescription pad, consider this:

If you don’t love & respect yourself, surely work on that.  But I am not going to sit here and preach about something that is clearly not a problem that can be resolved via a blog post.  I can, however, offer you some alternate ways to check yourself before you wreck yourself because eating a box of donuts is, indeed,  bad for your health…

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(If that’s the case, move one.  Tomorrow is a new day)

So you’re about to chow down:

If you know you’re about to dig in to something that doesn’t support your goals, you’re probably hosting a hormone war in your body.  Previously, I’ve suggested that you should first perform one or more of the following tasks:

Take a walk

Drink water

Call a friend

Read for 10-20 min

Then, if you still want something, take 10 deep breaths and re-decide how you feel about it.

While that is still excellent advice that I stand behind, let me offer you something new.

You know how many experts say it’s about loving yourself? And remember how I said that was hooey like 2 minutes ago?  Well, the solution is about love…but not about loving yourself.  The more practical advice is to love to do something.   When I write custom meal plans for people, I often assign them to send me a list of 10 things that they love to do that isn’t eating.  These lists are priceless.  I say to stick notes all over your house, in your purse, car, desk, fridge, make-up bag, etc,  as a constant reminder that you have things to do that aren’t sabotaging your nutrition.  But, beyond that, having a hobby or activity that brings you joy helps reduce cortisol (stress hormone), helps to increase serotonin (mood balancing hormone), and helps increase dopamine production (pleasure hormone).

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Do yourself and me a favor.  Make the list!  How about I assign you just 5 things you love to do.  Keep them simple, accessible and inexpensive.  Share them as a comment on this post as a public service to your friends and co-readers.  I’ll share some of mine as well 🙂

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean no treats for you ever.  You know I love a good cookie, cake, pizza, etc. But let’s have them in moderation and for the right reasons.  Most of the time, nutrient dense, properly portioned meals are going to be the best way to feed our bodies and souls.

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***Please note that if you do experience symptoms of depression or other mental illness, you should seek help from a doctor/specialist.  I am not a doctor and this post is not a medical diagnosis***

 

Your Summertime Meltdown

Hello Summer!  We’re smack in the middle of Summertime.  Is it everything you imagined it would be when you were wishing for it to hurry up and get here?  Have you been taking it easy?  If you’ve been taking it too easy, head outside with your phone and do this 8 Minute Meltdown.  It targets your booty and lower back (i.e. muffin top) and well as abs and obliques (i.e. muffin top continued).  Drop everything and DO IT NOW 🙂

Did you do it?  How do you feel?  Ready for a light summery favorite?

One of my clients gave me some great inspiration today for the perfect summer side dish.  It utilizes all of the freshest ingredients of Summer.

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I don’t recall exactly how she made it, but this is my spin on it:

2 cups cherry tomatoes

4 ears of sweet corn off the cob (or keep it super simple but using frozen organic sweet corn already cut,  thawed)

1 thinly sliced red onion

cilantro (handful)

salt & pepper

2 T EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

2 tsp ACV (apple cider vinegar)

Avocado to garnish (optional)

Toss al ingredients together and allow to marinate in the fridge before serving

Want to make it a meal?  Add black beans for a vegan dinner or chicken or shrimp for a lean meal.

This is a perfect dish for a picnic or backyard BBQ!