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Archive for the ‘healthy habits’ Category

Just in the nick of time to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month . . .

Enjoy this simple yoga pose to tone your belly, energize your mind, open your lungs, cleanse your body, lengthen your spine . . . And so much MORE!

xox Ana

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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

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The single most important thing you can do everyday to effortlessly release weight (and keep it off), boost mood, balance hormones and support proper detoxification is to engage in daily “renewal rituals”.

Renewal rituals are activities that allow the body to release the negative energy and emotions from stress that actually build up in your body’s tissues. These are the emotions that leave you feeling depressed, anxious, craving sweets or junk, and holding onto fat.

 

If you don’t “process” these negative energies and stress build-ups, then your body will intuitively find another way. Nine times out of ten this involves seeking comfort from food (especially sugar and carbs), alcohol, cigarettes or other “drugs”.

Your body and brain are craving what I call a “rebooting”, and if you don’t provide the “renewal ritual” to clear the slate, you will find yourself emptying the cookie jar, ice cream container, bon bon box or whatever your comfort of choice might be.

The sugar will give a temporary lift, but then you will be back to square one, wanting more and more, and feeling horrible about yourself for your lack of “willpower”.

 

Over the course of the day our bodies, minds and spirits are like  sponges that soak up the messages, energies, emotions and psychic toxicity of all those around us. You may feel you do really well with your eating and self care until the end of the day when all self-control seems to go out the window. It’s not hunger or lack of willpower that knock you off the wagon. It’s stress!

 

A renewal ritual is something that connects you to your breath, body and soul. In holistic medicine, it is  known that when you connect to the soul or spirit, you release positive endorphins and reduce stress hormones. And excess stress hormones are what make your body hold onto fat and age more quickly.

I suggest you partake in a “renewal ritual” at least 1 time per day (ideally 2 times per day – morning and before dinner) since the endorphin boost lasts for only about 8 hours.

 

Your assignment:

 

Make sure to schedule some ME time for yourself daily.  Put it in your calendar, make it a priority. No one will do this for you, and yet you will be a better mother, employee, business owner, lover, friend, sister, basket weaver, whatever, if you commit to this ritual.

Try some meditation, Yoga, walking, deep breathing, prayer, dancing, bath time, tai chi, or whatever your spirit is calling for. Even just 5 minutes will do the trick, but 15 or 20 is even better.

 

Leave me a note below to let me know how it goes!

 

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With much love and inspired health!

 

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Sometimes you need to just focus on the next step . . .

with love,

Ana

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Hope you will join me!

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Click here for BlissBody Transformation Program details.

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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.

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