Ayurveda

My Favorite Teas, Tonics, and More!

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I believe that everyday your body has the opportunity to cleanse and heal itself.  Through mindful practices that soon become habits, your body can instantly start to change for the better.  From the inside out, you may experience more energy, better skin, and overall better feeling about not just your body.

Here are some of my tried and true favorites.  For only a week, to maybe a consistent healthy ritual, how long is up to you and how you want to feel.

Morning:

Warm Lemon Water with ACV and Turmeric

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Green Juice

  • kale
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • apple
  • ginger
  • lemon

Smoothie

  • kale
  • pineapple chunks
  • mango
  • almond milk/coconut water
  • avocado
  • flaxseeds

 

Day:

Cleansing Water

  • Slices of cucumber
  • fresh parsley
  • lemon
  • pitcher of water

Beet Juice

  • beets
  • carrots
  • apple
  • ginger
  • lemon

 

Night:

Tea Packets (or fresh)

  1. Milk Thistle (liver cleansing)
  2. Dandelion (spring detoxing)
  3. Ginger (gut health)

Turmeric Latte

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • raw honey

PS.  What are your go to superfoods??  What would you add?  Take out?  I think this is a basis, but feel free to have a little *healthy* fun!

 

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Summer Endings into Fall Beginnings

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Confession.  I don’t know if I’m ready.  It’s bittersweet for the first time….

I can complain and be upset I never got to the beach all summer.  My tan is a mere Floridian glow.  Most of my produce all season came from my home state, New Jersey.  My usual summer of festivals, yoga, and foodie finds was last year’s memories.

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I can be grateful and say I wouldn’t have had summer end any other way.  I got to be and connect with my family like never before.  See few, but the best of friends a girl could have.  Lots of movies, hugs, food, and pancakes.

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I can be excited and say I am ready for fall.  I am ready for the cool nights.  Dark lips.  Squash.  Adventures.  Cleansing. Shedding some heated feelings.  Gaining some warmth, particularly within that chakra, anahata ❤

You see, our body’s have always been in aligned with the seasons.  Yes, as the human race we have steered off a bit (or a lot) but we can try and get there again, easy.  Every spring, we lighten up through weight and food.  We come out of our shell and get a bit more active and social.

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Then, come Fall, we await the pumpkin spice doughnuts and apple pies.  The leaves change to warmer colors of red, orange, and gold, even as the weather gets cold.  Our activities go from beaches, to cozy walks and movie nights.  Light summer cocktails turn into glasses of cabernet.  It’s time

For myself I want to shed the summer heat.  Cleanse. Detox.  I became a somewhat intense woman this summer.  And I learned there is a difference between emotional and madness.  I want to take the somewhat heated personality in my head and focus it towards my heart.  Because this ending, and new beginning, has taught me more than ever that being tough and arrogant isn’t all that.  Smiles are encouraging, not weakening.  Hugs are therapeutic, and people are INSPIRING.

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Usually this time of year, I talk more about the cleansing through food and holistic practices.  By now, I think we get it. More whole foods, warming foods, greens, oil massages, yoga, but I wanna add a little soul nourishment.  What are you trying to shed?  What are you trying to obtain?  Clarity? Love? Divinity?

Some of you will be wearing sweaters and sitting by the fires sooner than me, I’m a little jealous.  Although, I guess I can keep my Floridian glow a little while longer 😉

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yesenia

Gracefully Falling into Autumn

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Was that too much for a title?  I wanted to make it clever and cute, and semi related to the topic at hand.  Eh, I tried.

So, are you guys gearing up the Fall season?  Anyone already been ready?  I’m trying.  More mentally than physically.  The thought of cold weather makes me a bit uneasy, but thankfully there are the positive people who remind me about the better things, or to just get over it.  Sweaters? Boots? Pumpkin? Apples?  Plum lipstick?  Something has to make you excited, right?

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I’m a sucker for the little things.  Yes, warm weather all year round can seem like a lot to ask for, but it’s really just for the simpleness of shorts and a t-shirt, and fresh fruit that I would like.  So, for now, I will focus on the easy small ways.  How we can all gracefully enjoy getting into this season of transformation?

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Food!!! Focus on farmers markets for as long as you can.  Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I can still shop for local and delicious fruits and veggies.  It’s nice to see the change in colors in the atmosphere just from the food.  With fall squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, brussel sprouts, and cranberries, there are so many ways to enjoy the season just with food.  In the summer I must admit I take a break from cooking.  My go to of rice and beans with vegetables or salad, soon transforms to roasted root vegetable and curry.  Simple cozy recipes such Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal and Lentils with Butternut Squash, will make you a little more grateful for the color temperatures.

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Clean out those closets and cabinets.  There is nothing better than the feeling of a fresh start!  Fall is all about transformation.  Leaves turn colors and disappear, leaving space for growth once spring arrives.  Same with your body and surroundings in the home.  Go through your kitchen cabinets.  Take out expired cans and bottles, clean it up, make room for what you can use.  Even your bedroom closet.  I bet there are outfits you haven’t worn in a year?  Give it away.  With a big garbage bag, you will be surprise how fast it will fill up.  Whether the reason being it doesn’t fit you right or you changed your style up (I’m guilty of going through style changes frequently).  Maybe you can make room for cozy sweaters for the season.

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Clean up your diet.  I’m going to throw out the word.  Detox.  Yes.  It’s about that time again.  Do you dread it?  Love it?  Mine is a little both.  I love it because I know it’s going to help me start this season with the healthy boost we all need.  Let’s face it.  Fall and Winter? I hope I’m not the only one who will be indulging in hearty stews and curries, apple pie, pumpkin pie, or hot coffee and teas.  Why not prepare your body?  With a week of clean eating, juices, and exercise, you will only have a positive attitude of the new season ahead.  I’m looking forward for my body to feel light and full of energy to fight those colder dark early morning blues!

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Have fun with it!  Do what makes you happy! Experiment!  As I transition into Fall, oatmeal becomes a pretty important part into my diet.  The warmth and moisture it contains is perfect balance of the cold and dry weather upon us.  With some different variations and experimentation, I can enjoy feeling a little more healthier without getting boring.  You can discover what you love and don’t like so much.  For example, I learned I do not like dried apricots in my oatmeal, but love alone or in my desserts.  Who knew!  Little discoveries in a big bowl of oatmeal…

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Hope this helps!  Any questions on food, detoxes, and self-care, let me know!  I would also love to hear any advice you guys have on food, health, and fashion for Fall season!! Updates soon on the new events and changes for the next couple of months for sure!

P.S. Fall is great way to transition our self-care products and routines as well.  Check it out! I change my exfoliating body brush, switch from coconut oil everything to sesame or almond oil, and make time for more moisturizing face masks and body/scalp oil massages at night.  TLC people.  TLC.

Hot Healthy Summer

IMG_4192Well, it has officially been one month of summer gone.  I am in somewhat of a shock, and hoping that the next two months don’t go by as fast.  And with two more months left, I am going to make it count.

Of course, with Ayurveda, we are all about living with the seasons.  Summer being one of the three that we recognize, it is the month to keep energized and stay cool.  It makes sense.  We don’t want to over heat in the summer and the days are so long, that we don’t want to tire ourselves out so early.  I always find my it’s difficult for my body to stay up later during the first couple of weeks of summer. My body was ready for bed by 8pm.  That’s the grandma status coming out 😉

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Wake up call: First thing you want to do is adjust your sleeping patterns.  Maybe wake up an hour earlier, as the sun rises earlier.  I believe 6am or before does the trick.  Even on late nights, don’t set yourself up to sleep in.  You would be surprised to know how your body may want to get up earlier, then you would expect.  Just listen to it and try not to excuse yourself with that snooze button.  You want to get the maximum amount of energy for the day ahead.

Coconut oil:  Coconut is a cooling fruit.  If it comes from the tropics, it is most likely because it’s made for a more hot/humid climate.  Although I can name about 5 different uses for coconut oil, the one I would like to talk about is a coconut oil massage.  Before a shower, massage the coconut oil over your body.  This will not only get your skin and organs stimulated, but also moisturize and cool your body down before the day starts.  Amazing!  Once you get into the hot shower your pores will open to allow deep moisture.  I recommend a short cold shower after your daily wash.  This will minimize your pores once again and lock in the moisture.  If you still use soap in the shower, I recommend a quick sweep of the coconut oil when you get out.

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Food!!

Enjoy summer’s abundance of fruit.  Your body in the summer will naturally crave sweeter foods.  Keep it healthy and trimming with the fresh berries, peaches, and melons, to the more tropical fruits from other parts of the country.  Papaya’s, mangoes, and pineapples are some of my favorite go-tos.  With the sugar and carbs from the fruits, you will have lasting energy throughout your day.

Raw food is great!  Your body is ready to better digest hearty raw salads, cereals, and yummy side dishes.  Grilled summer veggies such as peppers, zucchini, and corn are also amazing.  Big Plus! Ice cream is A-ok in the middle of that summer hot day.  Cooling milk and yogurts are great for those who overheat easily.

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Avoid high fat proteins and that fried goodness.  I know those summer burgers and french fries look tempting, but make that a once in a blue moon kind of thing.  I find it so much easier to be vegetarian in the summer.  When eating out or want a nice piece of protein, go for the seafood.  Trust me, you want to keep it light during this season!

You may also want to limit your amount of high fermented products, such as kombucha and kimchi.  They tend to be heating to the body.  For your probiotics stick with a cooling yogurt.

Cool Hydration: Coconut water!  Full of electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium.  It is perfect for a post work out drink.  Mix with fruit and frozen banana’s for a cooling summer smoothie.  Fresh juices are perfect for this season!  I find it so much easier to drink a green juice in the morning or a random carrot-orange juice when it’s not freezing temps outside.

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Exercise:  Don’t go crazy.   I know it is summer, and everyone wants that hot summer body, but let’s think realistically.  You already expense a lot of energy through the longer days and warmer climates.  Plus, there is already a decrease in the heaviness and fat content in your meals.  You’re workouts as well should be a less intense.  I practice hot yoga, and during the summer the room is actually a lot less hot then in the winter.  At times there is no heating at all.  If you run, run in the morning or closer to sunset.

Hope this helps!  Of course there are many other tips and tricks, but I find these are the some that work best for most, including myself!

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PS.  If you’re one who enjoys a drink, stay close to refreshing simple cocktails and white wine!  Those do the trick to keep it cool and light during the summer months.

Spring Detox Part 2

Good morning ya’ll!

Hope everyone has had an amazing week!!! Mine definitely had it’s ups and downs.  I took quite a hiatus, first due to work.  My schedule has changed drastically and it’s definitely going to take some time to get used to.  I’ve been keeping focused with work, eating right, and some yoga.  Can we also talk about how I lost 4 months of information on my phone?  Yea, it was somewhat traumatizing, especially for me who had so many pictures!!  You know what that means?  This might be a slightly less appeasing post to the eye.  No pictures from my detox 😦

So let’s talk about how the rest went, shall we?

What I ate/drank?

  • Lemon with water upon awaking
  • Green juice every morning.  Nothing like starting your day with greens, ginger, and lemon.
  • Raw ginger cereal with raw cashew milk.
  • Green tea once a day
  • Gut lovin’ salad.  There will be a post on that soon!  It’s so good and taste so fresh.
  • Kombucha
  • More juice!  Preferably the Carrot Juice from Suja, or the Blueprint Beet Juice.
  • Ginger or peppermint tea

What I did?

  • #yogaeverydamnday (sweat)
  • Only breakfast and lunch
  • 5am or 5:30am wake up calls
  • Bed between 10pm – 11pm

How I felt?

Amazing during and after!  I lasted 5 great days.  I was never hungry, which was one of my priorities.  I wanted to enjoy everything about this detox.

My body felt light with all the fresh food and juices.  My yoga practice also helped by sweating out the toxins and giving me more strength. *Staying grounded during a detox, can actually be very difficult.  You’re body and mind may want to take flight, resulting in not being able to concentrate in everyday life task.  A vata obstacle.

Can we get real for a little?  My intestines were definitely moving.  I was regular and going to the bathroom easier and more frequently.  Just in the morning, I noticed a lot more evacuation.  This let me feel more secure with my body and health.  Nothing is worse than feeling backed up and bloated while trying to lighten up!  I was also great not to depend on breakfast in order to go.  I was able to go at times after my lemon with water or green juice.

Now we can talk about energy.  I don’t remember ever feeling depleted like I usually do!  I was fine with no coffee in the morning.  My yoga practice definitely woke me up every morning.  Through out the day, I made sure to keep myself well hydrated and fed, to not promote any drop in blood sugar.  I went to bed feeling light and was able to wake up easy by 5:30 every morning!  Less food is sometimes more guys!  I really couldn’t believe how well it turned out!

I highly recommend this detox if you are a health conscious eater to begin with.  You must love food and vegetables enough to want to nourish your body with it for a good amount of time.  Because, I did eat “normally” I extended my detox for a medium length of time.  Of course a juice cleanses would be shorter and a whole food cleanse would be a duration of a couple of weeks.  I had 1 cheat meal from Whole Foods and it was amazing.  Just a mostly raw salad and a kombucha, but it was just the slight midweek treat I needed 😉

You want to love what you are doing for yourself, basically because you love and respect the body you possess. We are all just souls, protected by your body.  Honor it!  Love it!

If you have any questions or would like to share your detox experience, please share!!! I love to talk more and hear what others have to say.  It’s always a learning experience for everyone.

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Till next time!

 

yesenia

 

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

 

 

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