Month: March 2014

Warm Water and Lemon: Detox Everyday

Can we make this month detox month?  This week I think I am going with the theme of Every Day Detox Routines.  I saw that the oil-pulling post was so well received, I couldn’t wait to share my absolute favorite way to cleansing.  This is something that is great to start when actually doing a detox, but even better to keep as part of your daily routines

I talked about before how important hydration was first thing in the morning.  Even with just room temperature water before any coffee or tea will bring you towards the right direction.  But, I got something even better for you that I can promise you will love.

 

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Warm Water and Lemon

Something I have been doing for a few years now, maybe four,  that I hate to miss every morning.  I have always had issues with my stomach and going to the bathroom.  My mother is the one who told me to try this in the morning to help symptoms.  I know that is very forward, but I have to be honest and say that I didn’t know the other half of the amazing benefits to this drink.  After doing this for quite sometime, I experienced better stomach and bathroom issues (with a better diet), more energy, and good feeling.

So let’s talk about the benefits

  1. Helps with digestion.  Of course I had to make this first.  Due to the warm water and lemon combined, you are getting starting off the day with something to get your system going and help flush out all the toxins first thing in the morning.  Your intestines accumulate a lot of toxins and waste from digestion of the previous day and all through the night.  Lemon water helps fire up your digestion again and get your bile flowing which also in turn, helps rid toxins within the intestines.
  2. Balance pH. Throughout the day our body becomes very acidic through the foods and toxins we ingest.  Consumption of foods like meat and cheese, to everyday pesticides and pollution cause this.  Lemon is an alkalizer that helps the body repair itself out of a much more acidic state.  As the body repairs itself, you are more likely to feel more energy and rejunivation in the morning.  More energy equals better feeling and practices, which help with a healthier (maybe leaner?) body.
  3. Helps fight colds.  Like many acidic fruit, lemon has vitamin C and potassium.  Potassium is great for brain function (my mother always told me to eat a banana before a test) and vitamin C is a great for your battling sickness and clearer skin.  Have you heard of a vitamin C mask?  On my to-do list.
  4. Combine with apple cider vinegar.  This took me a while to try.  My brother who suffers from bad seasonal allergies is convinced it has helped in through those difficult times in the year, that’s the lymphatic system doing their job.  For me, I read amazing things about apple cider vinegar, including how it also helps alkalize and detoxify the body.
  5. Combine with turmeric.  Turmeric heals the intestinal track system (your gut), through increasing bile flow and acting as a natural detoxifier.  It supports liver functions to help remove the toxin as waste. Decreasing inflammation and supporting muscle recovery is just an added bonus.

I really hope you guys try this!  If you already do, what side affects have you experienced?  Loved it?  Of course, everyone is different, so this might help you more with your skin than your stomach, or maybe give you more energy.  Either way, I feel detoxifying your intestines, liver, and overall body, is never a bad thing to try 😉

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yesenia

 

 

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Oil Pulling: An All Natural Mouthwash

As I read more holistic health articles, I see more and more information on oil pulling.  I find this amazing.  All though I only started this in the fall of last year, I can’t imagine not doing this every morning.

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So what is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an detox method that stems from Ayurveda.  By using oil as a mouth wash, you are ridding the toxins within your mouth and body everyday.  The oil acts to absorb any toxins inside your mouth, to even extracting toxins from inside your gut.

From extracting the toxins from your mouth, not only are you truly cleaning out your mouth, there are other benefits involved:

  • Strengthened gums and teeth
  • Sleek shine and feel on teeth
  • Whiter teeth
  • No bad breath
  • Better digestion
  • Healthier immune system

How to do it.

You can use either sesame or coconut oil.  I prefer coconut oil for a more mild taste and feel afterwards.  With about a 1/2 tbs of oil, you swish all through your mouth and in-between your teeth.  You do this for about 10-20 minutes.  Try your hardest to keep moving the oil around, it’s great exercise for your jaw as well.  DO NOT SWALLOW!  You want make sure all the toxins stick to the oil and not be digested.  Once you are done, spit in the toilet (you do not want clog your sink), and rinse with a little salt water.  I find this best to do this in the morning before I brush my teeth.

I believe your hygiene definitely affects your immune and digestion.  I feel the strength in my gums and teeth and have amazing cleaner feel in mouth every morning, that lasts throughout the whole day.  I think I drink too much tea and coffee to see some pearly whites.  I’ll take the health benefits anyway.

Have you ever tried oil pulling before?  I have to admit, I was skeptical for a long time.  I think if your curious, it’s worth to give it a try.  I’ve even heard how it may lead to softer glowing skin!

Sources:  John Douilliard, Life Spa

Why We Need A Morning Routine

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Can I stress how much we take our mornings for granted?  Everyday we wake up to a new day to improve.  Whether it’s personal, at work, or home, we all start off our day thinking about what we have to do.  Do you every find yourself rushing?  Just going through motions?  It really doesn’t have to be like that.  We can make our mornings just as important and exciting as our whole day.

Morning routines can give many a sense of clarity and stability.  The way I like to see it, is that it is something we can control.  It’s just you and nature.  Before you have to deal with anyone or anything, I find it as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with yourself.  Some may call it a routine, some may call it a ritual.  Whatever appeals to you, make it something that sticks with you and find important enough to appreciate.

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Here are some tips or ideas to make your morning worth while.

  1. Arise before the sun.  Sooo, how do I explain this to make it more appealing?  If you already wake up before the sun for work maybe, then we are on the right track!  But, maybe we have to view it a bit differently.  Don’t you want to feel good about actually getting your day started with tranquility.  Try not to rush or get flustered from a short morning.  Before the sun rises, there is an energy given by the universe.  It’s an energy of stillness and awakening.  Wake up with nature!  Open your curtains, and let the light peek out as you start your day.
  2. Hydrate.  Seriously.  After you take care of hygiene, you need to give your body some water.  Your body probably went a good 7 hours with no hydration, and believe it or not, it did a lot of work!  Hydrate and flush out your toxins.  I do plan in going in depth with 2 of my favorite ways to detox in the morning, but for now, start off with room temperature water.  It’s fast, easy, and great before you have that morning cup’o tea 😉
  3. Whether tea or coffee, take time to enjoy it.  If you can enjoy it home with breakfast, great!  If you need to take it on the commute, make it as important as your commute.  By that, I mean really pay attention and enjoy.
  4. Gratitude.  I highly recommend to start your day with a little writing.  Whether it is something you were grateful for yesterday, or something about the day ahead, write it down.  It can be as simple as a warm bed at night, to a new job, or amazing exercise results.  There is so much to be grateful for, it is a great reminder in the morning to start another day to be thankful for.
  5. Move and meditate.  Stretch your body out.  Maybe a couple of stretches that you find most helpful in the morning.  Start with your head, shoulders, back, down to your legs and feet.  After, stay still for a couple of minutes.  Clear your head.  You need this before life’s checklist comes to mind.  I like to do this in child pose sometimes.  You may think you don’t need or have time for meditation, but that’s why I advise a couple of minutes to start.  When I first started, I used my phone to keep track.  You’ll be surprised how fast it can escalate to five minutes.

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So what motivates you to get up in the morning?  What’s something you can’t imagine doing before your day begins?

 

yesenia

Come Join Me in a Spring Detox Info Session!

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The title says it all guys!

What have you heard about detoxes? I know when I first started hearing about main stream detoxes, the water with lemon, cayenne, and syrup one (was that even the ingredients?), was the thing to do.  Back then, I used to laugh at such an idea.  It may have worked for some, but never I!  Oh, have times changed.

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There are so many different detoxes out there, sometimes even I’m skeptical about what really works.  The thing is most of them do.  It’s just finding what is right for you and what you think you may actually enjoy.  Yes, cleansing is supposed to be enjoyable!  A spring detox should leave you feeling light, clean, fresh, and rejuvenated!  It’s spring after all!

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If you are looking for a way to jump start your healthy and fit lifestyle, there is really no better time than with the change of season, specifically towards spring.  With the days longer and nature blooming, your energy and need to shed away those winter blues (and insulation) is here. Now is the time, because I will remind you, summer is around the corner.  And if your anything like me, or just human, all the hibernation, plus extra winter hardy food and fats, are still hanging on tight to your organs/hips.  Cleansing is an amazing experience and if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about one, please don’t hesitate!

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SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2014:  If you are in the Central/North New Jersey area, join me as we chat about spring cleansing and hopefully I’ll get to answer some questions you may have.  For the time and place please visit the Events Web Page.  You may RSVP there as well.

Don’t live around the area?  Can’t make it?  Let me know and I can send you some helpful information you may have missed!  Contact me here or email me!  Information is on my Holistic Practice Page.

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Changes and Kicking the Sugar Habit!

Good morning everyone!!

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Hope everyone has been enjoying their week so far!

So, I would like to introduce you guys to my blog once again.  I am trying to recreate this site to be almost more informational, if you will?  I guess since I’m taking a different path now, I only want my blog to follow along!  Sometimes, I miss posting my every day foods, and talking about oatmeal, and my ginormous lunches, but again, it’s time.  I want to share useful information, beautiful pictures (my photography skills are improving, thank you Instagram), and everyday life stuff I am enjoying .  I will try and blog more often, because I noticed I have a lot to share!  Can you blame a gal who likes to talk 😉  Thought I would just mention.  I do tend to change my style a lot.  Clothing, writing, eating, I’m going to try it all.  Join me?

I thought we take a break from detoxes.  I was thinking about it so much, I almost gave myself anxiety!!  I still am excited, but I’ve been meaning to share what I’ve really been working on.  Kicking my sugar habit!!!!

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?  I always loved sweets, like really loved.  I was the girl who always needed a sweet breakfast such as oatmeal, cereal, waffles, and fruit.  Eggs was brunch.  I also always needed desserts as well.  How can one have a full blown amazing dinner and no cake afterwards?!  That seemed absurd.  The only reason I started baking was when I went vegan and just wanted some damn vegan cake and cookies!  I had to kick that nasty habit.  And I thought now was the perfect time.  Isn’t that always the case?

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Here’s what I’ve been doing

  • Breakfast is officially brunch.  As in I started having eggs.  This has been working out for me, especially during the times that I do have dessert the night before.  The fact that I’m not fueling my body with just wheat and fruit (which actually is sugar and sugar), but rather a solid protein and veggies, helps with getting the sugar out of my system.  Another reason:  Since I’ve been waking up later, I wake up hungry.  My breakfasts have become pretty caloric, so it always lasts me till a later lunch as well.

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  • Coffee.  Here me out.  Yes I tried to cut it out, and eventually I still plan to.  Coffee has that bit of caffeine to get you started.  I keep it black in the morning.  One cup a day.  This helps to awaken and keep going without extra food or drinks for a good portion of the day.  After lunch, I stick to tea and fruit.
  • Fill up!  Especially on the weekends.  Those days are usually family big dinners for most people.  I make sure to have a decent breakfast and lunch so I am not starving at dinner.  I eat GOOD at dinner.  When satisfied, your body will not crave something sweet.  If a must, share! And, if wine was present during dinner, skip dessert.  Wine has enough sugar.  Be careful though.  I hadn’t had much sugar in a few days, so when I made the mistake of having a couple of glasses of wine during dinner, I definitely felt it the next day.  It was the sugar!

I strongly encourage homemade goodies.  All of the sudden they don’t seem to count.  And you end up sharing so much of them, because you just want to spread the love, you won’t be able to eat half a dozen muffins by yourself 😉

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What has worked for you guys?  What habits did you have to kick out?

yesenia

Preparing for a Spring Detox

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So, the weather seems to be warming up in my part of town!  I’m hoping for no more below freezing temperatures and longer days.  Daylight savings, you may come now.

I know for myself, it has been a brutal winter for me to keep up with most of my better habits.  First with holiday festivities, cold weather winter meals, and cozy beds tempting you stay asleep a little bit longer, I feel for you.   And do not even get me started with the “snow days.”  With the slight signs of warmer weather and longer days, I am hoping certain habits will come easier for both you and me, and by hoping, I mean they will!  I am ready for some lean greens, juices, sun, light clothing (read minimal clothing), and early wake up calls!  So I am going to let the lighter fairs, juices, and early wakeup calls help me out towards minimal clothing 🙂  So where do we begin?

I was doing some bedtime reading yesterday, and something caught my eye.  I am reading “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” and I came across an idea that I think pertained to preparing for a detox.

“The impure mind reads it from the wrong angle.  So the mind mud be pure.  It is all well and good to learn the different methods of meditation and the experiences that could come to you.  But if you are really serious about the business and really want to go deep into meditation, take care to have a clean mind.  Otherwise, you are not going to get it.”  Book 1, Sutra 46

Spiritually, when we meditate, we do with the intention that something will happen.  I guess you can say nothing.  With a pure mind, we get the most out of our actions and main goal.  This is not just in meditating, but anything we do that may be challenge for us.  The only way to get through a detox and actually get something out of it, is to prepare.  Mentally and physically we need to get ourselves ready for what lies ahead.

1497484_265657860250472_327101097_nDetox Preparation 

Mentally and/or spiritually, we have to have our intentions straight.  My favorite, and my usual, is to heal my body through the removal of ama(toxins) naturally with minimal effort.  I myself do not want to feel tired and overwhelmed during the detox and do not want my body to work hard to cleanse itself.  Essentially, that is what a detox is, to give your gut a break so your body may focus on doing it’s main function, which is cleanse itself!  When you feel good and do good.

My second reason, and probably the reason for most, is too lose that extra winter layer or at least get a headstart. If you experienced a colder winter, your body is probably already telling you it’s time for a change.  It’s time for good food, sweat, and crop tops.  Yes, I like to get ahead myself, summer is my true love.

Physically, it is a bit tough.  Although you may want to eat and drink what you like until a detox, chances are that it is not a good decision.  When you over indulge before the detox, food can act like a drug.  You will go through withdrawal during your cleanse.  Your body will be craving with more intensity all those foods you left behind so sudden.  Whether your demise may be caffeine, sugar, bread, or all of the above, back away for the next few weeks slowly.  Maybe limit the coffee to a few times a week or once a day.  Cut sugar out during breakfast.  Fill up on cooked hearty vegetable.  Work out a few times a week, which is my hardest part.  Your body and mind will be in the right place to change and get the maximum benefit without “struggle”.

Even when you start to doubt yourself, can’t make it all the way, or “cheat”, when you have the right intention, and good feeling, you cleanse just by leaving that stress behind.  Did you know that stress wreaks havoc internally?  So be kind and gentle with yourself.  Accept what you are able to do.  If you go into a challenge ready, most likely you will succeed.  Compare it to a sport.  You train and become prepared for an event or match.  Afterwards, whether you won or lost, if you gave it your best effort, you feel good.  Because, regardless you were in a good state going into it.  If you want to maintain the benefits of the detox, you must stick with that, “I want to feel my best to look and do my best all the f*king time!” attitude 😉  Before and after!

So the next few weeks, I will go over some of the stuff I have been preparing.  How I’ve been trying to eat and act with a little more mindfulness, easy everyday detox ideas, and my favorite, seasonal foods!

Hope this helps to jumpstart your body to get ready for the Spring.  I usually don’t do well with change, but somehow I am always excited for any change that involves yummy foods and warm weather!

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Fast and Delicious Warming Meals!

Can you believe more snow?!

I actually can.  I do not believe winter to be over till after March 20, and even then can it be seen as a bold statement.  Since most of us still have our day-to-day duties, I put together a list of fast and easy meals I love to prepare during these winter months!

When all you have is less than an hour (30 min) to prepare something, I keep in mind some staples

  • Vegetables!!! Easy to prepare vegetables to be exact.  Sautéed greens and mushrooms are two of favorites.  You can also roast a sweet potato in the beginning of the week and get use of it a couple of times.  I’m a big fan of a whole bunch of let’s-use-this-now-before-it-goes-bad vegetable dishes.  Throw it all in a pan and cook!
  • Protein.  Ready made meats if you prefer.  I love a good fried egg or two.  Eggs seems to go over anything.  Whether rice and beans, pasta, or bread, you are good to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Starches.  I know pasta is fast and versatile for a lot of people.  I’m more of quinoa, potatoes, and bread.  That’s something for everyone.  You can even make a pot of rice even and save for the week.
  • Sauces!!! Lifesavers in a jar.  I know it’s not as homemade, and probably the homemade stuff tastes 10x better, but for what we are looking for they will do.  Whether a tomato sauce for pasta, or curry sauce for Indian, your dish will taste damn delicious  and so easily!

IMG_4922Thai Curry Noodles:  Soba noodles, sautéed veggies, massaman curry sauce, fried egg, and sriracha.

IMG_4652Sweet Potato, Kale, and Chickpea Madras Curry.  Easy recipe promise 😉

 

IMG_5389A Crazy Yummy Mess:  Sweet potato, sautéed kale and mushrooms, and quinoa with a half cup tomato sauce.  Topped with an avocado.

IMG_2898Semi-homemade Chili:  Sauteed kale and butternut squash, canned chili, and fried egg.  Topped with sriracha.

IMG_4092Curried Lentils and Butternut Squash:  An oldie but a goodie!

As you can see there’s a lot of warmth and root vegetables going on here.  Until spring I still highly recommend some.  But, even I’ve been noticing the need for a little more lighter (raw?!) foods, as they are making an appearance in my diet.    I think my body is trying to tell me something that we all already know…. sooner or later, spring shall be here!