Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘general health’ Category

In yoga there is a law that states: “where attention goes energy flows“.

So, whatever you are present to is what is fed, what flowers, what grows.

This can be applied to just about any area of your life.

But what I want to focus on here is how presence relates to your metabolism, energy, digestion and your health.

First, let’s just look at what presence is and how it works.

It has been scientifically proven that we can affect anything simply by observing it and paying attention to it. You can affect another’s behavior by observing them.

We might call this self-consciousness, but this phenomenon has also been shown in animals, planets and more.

You may have even noticed for yourself that when you are in nature, observing the beauty around you, that you experience an almost immediate sense of relaxation and well being.

Well, this emotional responsiveness to what we put our attention on also relates to our body and to our metabolism.

When you eat with awareness and really fully choose presence with your meals, research has shown that you actually assimilate more nutrients, digest better and boost your metabolism.

Digestion, in fact, begins in the head! Wow!

Now, you may be saying “big deal, I don’t have time for this”, or “I don’t really care”.

Well, I encourage you to listen up because if you wish to maximize the nutrition from the food you eat, increase your energy, burn more calories without getting on the treadmill, get more enjoyment from your food and prevent overeating, this is THE tip you can start right away for profound results.

Without presence in the act of eating, you will experience less enzymatic action in the gut and be more likely to experience digestive problems (even if you don’t “feel” them), bowel disorders, lowered immunity, and fatigue. Not to mention you will most likely hold onto weight, have more difficulty losing excess weight AND overeat.

YIKES!

In order to take full advantage of the metabolic power of presence, you must give your full attention to eating. This means no TV, no reading, no computer, no eating while you work or while you drive. Be fully present.

Now, the slight exception to this would be eating in the presence of others. This is fine and even beneficial. Sharing a relaxed meal with family or friends is still supporting the attention being on your food and the act of eating.

Your Action Step:

For the next week be totally 100% present to your meals (and snacks). Remove all distractions and commit to this with your whole self.

Create a relaxing atmosphere alone or with others. If you are at work, step away from your desk.

Notice your food, smell it, look at it, really taste it, chew it, breath it.

Really make this a meditation.

Extra credit: Now if at some point during the week you choose to indulge in or binge on a “forbidden” food, be totally present.

DO NOT leave the building. Pay attention to what happens when you actually scoop the ice cream out of the container into a beautiful bowl, create a calm and comfortable environment and sit down, while enjoying it slowly.

If you are eating low quality ice cream, you will most likely put it down pretty quickly. : )

Even if you are eating the good stuff, you will most likely be satisfied with less.

This is not easy, I know, so be gentle with yourself.

I encourage you to try this, and please leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!

with love,

Ana

p.s. Are you ready to get serious about boosting  your body’s natural healing powers, boosting your metabolism, increasing energy, raising  your vibration and living a fulfilling, joy-filled life all from the comfort of your own home?

In my Total Body Transformation Program homestudy course, I walk you through step by step in how to reach your goals and become energized & radiant, naturally.

Questions? Please email me at devana108@gmail.com

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Vita-Mix is giving away THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN GIFTS to new Vita-Mix 5200 customers this holiday season! When you purchase through my coded link, you’ll also get free standard shipping on your purchase, a $25 value US/$35CN.  Selected winners who are active on www.vita-village.com, will also get an extended warranty on their Vita-Mix machine which adds up to 10 FULL years of protection, a BONUS VALUE of $120. To qualify, you must purchase a Vita-Mix 5200.

CLICK HERE TO GET ONE NOW.

For details of this promotion click here.

Read Full Post »

Although truly transforming your cravings needs to be about more than just a quick fix, I thought sharing a couple of helpful tools and hints could at least take the edge of and allow for a more relaxed introspection into the true nature of your cravings.

What is a craving?
“An intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing “
Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/craving
Cravings = critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.

It does not matter what you crave, the important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave.
Key: Look at the foods, deficits, behaviors in your life that are the underlying cause of your cravings.
When you do have a craving, pause and ask, “what is really going on here?”

It is important to really begin to listen to your body, not just try to shut it up. It is trying to tell you something, so patience and attention are required.

Often times, though, when a craving strikes, we may be in a weak and vulnerable state and just not centered enough to address the core of the issue. This is where the “tool kit” comes in. These are some personal tools that I use when emotional stability has left the building:

Deep breathing – Close your eyes and take 10 slow, long and deep breaths right into the belly. This can be amazingly calming, centering and energizing. Often times this allows that urgency to subside, so that you may be able to act more consciously.

Essential oils – Essential oils are invaluable for addressing the “emotional body”. They enter directly through our olfactory system (the smelling system), which has been shown to correllate very directly and immediately to the emotional state. The effects can be immediate and the side effects are none. Young Living are some of the highest quality oils I have used and they have masterful blends that are wonderful at transforming negative or harmful emotional states.

Valor, Peace & Calming, Joy, Harmony, Live with Passion, Motivation, Inner Child or Release are just a few to start with. Rub a drop or two in your palms and inhale for an immediate effect.

Quick fix: Squash your cravings with a drop or two of Young Living peppermint oil. Place a drop or two on the back of your hand, then lick it off. Pure peppermint essential oil has been shown to depress appetite, especially when it is more of a psychological desire. (Note: It is only okay to ingest oils that have been approved for internal use such as Young Living. Do not try this with just any brand)

Flower Essences – These are a very personal journey, so I will not be making any specific recommendations. What I will say is that they can be so effective at balancing emotions in a very subtle and completely non-toxic way. It is best to consult with someone who uses flower essences or use the quick reference guides that usually accompany the display at your natural foods store. Because these are completely safe, experimenting a little to find the right formula for you poses no risk of toxicity or harm.

Blue green algae – Both spirulina and blue green algae (see E3 Live on my recommended products page) have been shown to balance blood sugar, provide the body with valuable trace minerals and suppress cravings. Their ability to uplift and energize could help you feel a little better when the emotional roller coaster hits.

(See my article on blue green algae on my examiner.com page)

Again, it is important to not see your cravings as the enemy, but secret information that may need a little decoding. Check in to see what may be missing in your diet or your life. With practice the mystery will unravel.

Read Full Post »

Hmm, sexy foods, quite an intriguing concept really. Foods that are sexy and foods that can make us feel and look sexy are interestingly often one and the same. In honor of the arrival of summer, which is the most playful and sexiest of seasons, I thought I would explore our sexuality through the avenue of food. Sexy foods are nutrient-dense foods, often high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Not only will sexy foods feed your hormones, but nutrient dense foods support a healthy weight as well. So the outcome is both looking and feeling sexy.
One note: if you do intend to apply these foods to your diet in the name of sexy, remember that overeating even the best of foods never feels sexy. So, enjoy these items in slow, relaxed and measured doses for best results. Better still; have them fed to you by a significant other. (wink, wink)

Almonds – high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids both of which a vital to sex hormones. Conversely, bad fats are deadening to sexuality. How sexy do you really feel after a double bacon cheeseburger with fries?

Asparagus – Yes, this vegetable is visually suggestive, but its nutritional profile is what gives it high marks. Among many other vitality-giving nutrients, this springtime favorite is very high in vitamin E, thought to be the “sex vitamin”.

Avocado – Besides being richly indulgent, this fruit helps boost both male and female libido. Avocados are also high in folic acid and B6, which help boost sexual energy and regulate hormones respectively.

Banana – Here again we have the visual suggestion, but it is the enzyme bromelain and the B-vitamins, which are especially beneficial to sexual health and energy.

Basil – Who doesn’t love basil? Besides inducing a sense of well-being and lifting mood, basil stimulates circulation, increases fertility and boosts sex drive.

Bee Pollen – In nature, pollen’s role is to fertilize. This super food from the bee world has energy giving properties, is high in B-vitamins and contains all essential amino acids. It is thought to most benefit male sexual health.

Berries – Berries are one of our most potent plant foods. They are lower in sugar than many other fruits and pack a load of nutrition into each tiny package. There is also something very seductive about a deep red, ripe berry. A wonderful food to be slowly savored and shared.

Click here for a delightfully rich chocolate pudding with fresh berries

Cardamom – A common aromatic spice used in Indian cuisine, cardamom helps increase circulation and is viewed by some cultures as a powerful aphrodisiac. Try combining with chocolate and maca for a dip for your berries!

Celery – A seemingly unlikely sexy food, celery helps boost the production of a powerful substance known as androsterone – an odorless hormone released through male perspiration that is attractive to women.

Chilies – Chilies boost circulation, increase sensitivity in nerve endings and contain capsaicin, a substance that triggers the release of feel-good endorphins.

Chocolate – Ahhh, chocolate. Most of us treat this food as a guilty pleasure, but it is really the highly processed, overly sweetened and highly denatured variety we need to be wary of. The minerals in raw chocolate (especially magnesium) provide necessary nutrition and promote a sense of relaxed well-being, while theobromine (a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine) gives a heart-centered buzz. Chocolate also helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin. Try raw or at least dark chocolate for best effects. You can get raw chocolate at most natural food stores or click here.

Garlic – Not only will it keep your immune system strong, but garlic also contains high levels of allicin a compound that can improve blood flow to the sexual organs.

Goji Berries – These super berries from Asia are best consumed dried, as that is closest to their original form. They contain all essential amino acids and help boost libido in both men and women by increasing testosterone. Find goji berries at  your natural food store or click here.

Figs – There is really nothing quite like a perfectly ripe, lusciously sweet fig. Figs are another plant food high in amino acids, which is helpful in increasing sexual stamina and libido.

Maca – A lesser-known tuber from Central America, maca is gaining some notoriety as a wonderful adaptogenic and tonic food. It has been shown to increase sperm counts and testosterone in men, while supporting sexual desire in women. Fun stuff, really!

Oysters – Oysters are a classic aphrodisiac, and for good reason: they are phenomenally high in zinc. Low levels of zinc are associated with sexual dysfunction in both men and women, along with a host of other problems. Try these on the half-shell with a side of omega-3 rich caviar and you are well on your way to a sexy meal.

Pumpkin Seeds – The plant world’s answer to the zinc-rich oyster, these delicious seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, critical to sexual and hormonal health. A wonderful regular addition to the diet, as most of us are not indulging in oysters on a regular basis.

Food is something we do every day, multiple times a day, so why not make it fun. Nutrition does not need to be heady and dry, in fact, as we see now it can be down right sexy!

Enjoy your sexy foods in good company.

Read Full Post »

sugarsnaps_es3v

Sugar Snap Peas – Nature’s Snappy Candy

Every year around this time, one of my favorite healthy whole food snacks begins to appear in the local farmer’s market – sugar snap peas.

If you have never eaten these little green jewels in an edible shell raw, you are in for a tasty surprise. They are sweet, yet low in sugar.

They’re refreshing, especially when stored in the fridge. They make the perfect dipper or can be eaten as is. And their crisp personality will satisfy the snacker in you.

The best news is they’re fast food! Just wash, drain and toss them in a to-go container. You can pull the tops off and “de-string” them as you eat.

These delicious members of the legume family pack some nutritional punch as well. They contain vitamin K for bone health and blood clotting, B-vitamins including folic acid, and plenty of vitamin C.

Look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a lively medium green. Those whose green color is especially light or dark, or those that are yellow, whitish or are speckled with gray, should be avoided.

Enjoy them right on the spot or store in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s feast.

Read Full Post »

fruits_vegetablesMany times when we start to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets, there is a learning curve regarding how much to buy and how to store it optimally. No body wants broccoli rotting in a back corner after 5 days!

So, here are some quick and easy tips to maximize freshness and your dollars – less waste.

1) Buy as much as possible from your local farmer’s market where it has been picked that day. The majority of produce from local grocery stores is weeks old when you finally buy it.

2) To extend the life of your produce, store it in Green Bags (Ever Fresh  at http://www.evertfresh.com/ or Debbie Meyer at https://www.greenbags.com/?cid=587724 or www.hsn.com) or use the new E.G.G. (Ethylene Gas Guardian, found at http://www.4theegg.com/).

3) Store as much as possible in your “crisper”.

4) Try wrapping the ends of greens with wet clothes or organic paper towels. This seems to help them last longer and keeps them from wilting.

5) To save time and plastic, take your green bags to the market with you. Then everything is ready to be stored upon arrival.

6)Mushrooms, jicama and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) should be store in paper bags to prevent them from molding.

7) Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature.

8) Potatoes and onions should be stored in a cool, dark, dry environment. Not in the refrigerator.

9) Avocados should stay at room temperature until they ripen, then refrigerate.

10) Items like apples and oranges can be left out in a basket, but will last longer in the fridge.

11) Berries will do best refriderated in a container that allows some airflow.

12) Asparagus will stay freshest if you put the ends in water and cover them with a bag. Use as soon as possible.

13) Fresh herbs should be used within a few days. To store them longer, try processing in the food processor with a little olive oil. Divide into ice trays, freeze, then store the single portion doses in the freezer in baggies or glass containers.

Now, happy produce shopping!

Read Full Post »

plant-1savegre_costa_rica

Pura Vida

According to Wikipedia:

Pura Vida (POO-rah VEE-dah), used by Costa Ricans since 1956 [1], literally translated means “Pure Life.” Contextually, it means “Full of Life” “Purified life”, “This is living!”, “Going great!” It is used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction. The expression was taken from the mexican movie “Pura Vida!”, which came out on February 29th 1956 (director: Gilberto Martínez Solares).

Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time and wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune, whether small or large.”

My purely Costa Rican experience began with the 2 plus hour taxi to the first destination, Playa Guiones in Nosara. The taxi driver, who spoke decent English, was eager to teach us some Spanish. Our first phrase was “pura vida“.

“When someone asks you how your trip was, say “pura vida””, he smiled. “When they ask you how your day is, say “pura vida”. When you wake up in to the sunrise, “pura vida”. When you watch the sunset over the ocean, “pura vida”.” Well, you get the picture. Pura vida is the way of life, and this way of life rubs off very easily.

We then continued to go over favorite foods – pina, aguacate – and  few lovely poetic phrases, but “pura vida” was what really struck a cord. Ahhh, enjoyment of and savoring of a natural way of being.

So many Costa Ricans (native and transplants) just oozed with genuine love of living and all living things. Environmental concern, fresh organic foods, connecting with nature and community are just part of life there.

The literal translation of pura vida – pure life – is what I look to create. This is not in the monastic sense, but in the sense of living with clarity, sincerity, joy, health and abundance of spirit, all of which leads to manifesting the right people, paths and experiences.

My trip seemed to be blessed with such people, places and experiences from the exhileration of surfing and ziplining to the simple majesty of the sun setting over the ocean. One seemed more inclined to live by the sun. Most of my companions and I were ready to quite by 9pm and ready to rise as the sun did, at 5:30am. And, of course if the sun did not wake you, then the howler monkeys surely would! Their eerie low roar became comforting and something I looked forward to.

On one afternoon I ended up scheduling a massage with a woman who did something called “harmonic healing”. This was a combination of several massage techniques coupled with sound. She began by whispering the words “inner grace” several times, then proceeded to make mesmerizing tonal sounds through out the rest of the session. Such a powerful experience to have the someone really draw you in towards this inner grace.

What I found myself enveloped in was a sense of peace, a joy of life and calm and serenity that I vowed would follow me back to my home in California. I write this to allow each one of you to follow your hearts and pursue your personal pura vida. Better yet, allow it to find you.

Allow kindness to be your default.

Meditate on the beauty that surounds.

Swim in the ocean.

Swing from the trees.

Listen to the animals.

Chant from the mountain tops.

Do something that scares you.

Wake up early to watch the sun’s rays bless us with another day of life on this planet.

Physically or energetically hug your fellow humans.

Talk to the plants.

Tread lightly and give abundantly.

Share your gifts.

Namaste,

Ana

p.s. To savor some deliciously pure creations a la Costa Rica, please see my newest blog Blended Bliss.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »