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Posts Tagged ‘Right Nutrition’

Candy Crush

A few weeks ago an article on sugar industry inter-dealings that took place half a century ago made national news. According to the piece, the Sugar Research Foundation funded studies in the 1960s that downplayed the maleffects of sugar and its link to poor coronary health and positioned fat as Public Health Enemy #1. The project concluded that cutting fat from the American diet was the best way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Enter the low-fat and no fat craze of the past decades, a time when bold-printed claims on the front of packaged food became more important than the list of ingredients on the back. Whole milk, red meat, cheese, oils and butter were positioned as devious culprits, while fat-free, processed foods claimed health food status.

It’s a prevailing belief. The trendy Atkins diet shifted the blame to carbohydrates in the nineties, but the idea of fat as a health food will still sound far-fetched to most. And Americans’ sugar consumption? You don’t need a whistleblower to know it’s through the roof.

So what’s the story with sugar? Earlier this year we wrote about food cravings and how to understand them. Sugar, in short, makes us feel good, provides us with a burst of energy, and, ironically, actually helps us hold on to fat — an energy reserve for later use (good for hunter-gatherers, less important for driver-microwavers).

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But, what is it exactly?

Sugars have several names that all end in –ose. Fructose and glucose are naturally occurring carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables and honey. Lactose is a milk sugar.

What we think of when we picture sugar in the baking aisle or next to the cream for our coffee is refined sucrose. Unrefined sucrose is found in the roots of sugar beets and in the stems of sugar cane. To make table sugar those plants are harvested, processed and refined (a process that usually involves bleaching and crystallization), ultimately stripping them of minerals or nutrients. By the time it reaches your coffee cup it’s just pure, refined sugar.

What does it do in the body?

One of two things. Depending on the efficiency of your fat-burning cells, your body will either use the sugar as energy (fast metabolism) or convert it to fat and store it (slow metabolism).

Either way, when sugar enters the blood stream, the pancreas detects it, recognizes it as potentially problematic, and releases insulin to deal with it, primarily by sending it to the liver and muscles to use as fuel.

The more sugar we consume the more insulin we produce. And if we flood the body with sugar, like on a Halloween candy binge, the body may produce too much insulin in an attempt to get the balance right. All that insulin moves the sugar out of our bloodstream, causing our blood sugar levels to drop, triggering hypoglycemia, a sugar crash, which can feel like this:

  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating and chills
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Hunger and nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
  • Headaches
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Anger, stubbornness or sadness
  • Lack of coordination

And how does the body respond to being in such a state? By asking for more sugar to right the balance, setting the whole process in motion again.

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It’s not an impossible cycle to break, but it does take effort, information and discipline. For starters, the more we can decrease our intake of added sugars, the better. To get an idea of how much sugar is in your diet already, check out sugarstacks.com, a visual aid that stacks foods against sugar cubes.

We’ll take a look at naturally-occurring sugars, like the ones found in sweet fruits, in an upcoming post on candida overgrowth — an excess of sugar-fueled yeast that can disrupt the gut and compromise the immune system — and geek out on the Glycemic Index.

Until then, binge wisely.

 

Photos: Top illustration; Clare Crespo’s candy mandala; doughnut

Watermelon In A Glass

Watermelon is a powerhouse beauty food. Nutrient dense, it packs a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in a low amount of calories; plus, it’s collagen-boosting, libido-lifting and inflammation-reducing.

Loaded with lycopene, the phytochemical responsible for the fruit’s rich red flesh (the same one that’s in tomatoes), watermelon has been linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. It’s also got a crazy high water content (92%), so it’s an ideal summer snack when hydration is unequivocally important.

All that water plus a generous amount of fiber means watermelon is great for regularity and a healthy digestive tract. A clean inside makes for a glowing outside, and watermelon is doubly effective in promoting healthy skin: High in vitamin C it supports collagen growth, the protein that keeps skin vibrant and elastic. The fruit’s high vitamin A content also aids in the body’s production of sebum, which keeps hair shiny and moisturized.

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Blended Watermelon Summer Smoothie

Make it:  

  • ~ Find a ripe, juicy watermelon, and take note, watermelon rind is edible and just as good for you as the flesh. You can also keep the watermelon in the fridge for about 12 hours to chill it.
  • ~ If your blender is powerful enough, put in some of the rind and all of the flesh and turn it on high.
  • ~ Voila! Watermelon in a glass!
  • ~ Drink this light frothy refreshment right away, refrigerate or freeze and save for later.

This simple summer recipe is perfect on its own. It also lends itself to variations — you can add lemon, lime, cucumber or fresh herbs like basil, mint or rosemary.

But, for best digestion, do keep it simple. Ayurveda counsels against eating raw fruit with other foods; it’s best digested on its own, so eat it at least 30 minutes before other foods or two hours after.

Melon falls into its own category. It moves through the stomach more quickly than other fruits so eat or drink it on its own to avoid bloating or gas.

 

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Oh right, what was that about libido boosting? Watermelon has also been shown to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow to erectile tissue, so please, drink responsibly.

Photos from @livhungry and @alisontheodora

Simple Summer Salad

Early summer meals are the best. The farmer’s markets are stocked with late-spring finds like ramps, garlic scapes and asparagus alongside summer sweets like the season’s first tomatoes, fresh basil and tiny, tart strawberries. Summer cooking can be as simple as assembling — picking up a few fresh items you like and arranging them on a plate or tossing them together in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt and a nice glug of olive oil.

The recipe for this shaved asparagus salad is in the same vein. The flavors are bright and refreshing. The avocado and chickpeas are full of protein, while the lemon in the dressing is a natural detoxifier.

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As for asparagus, here’s the 101:

  • Great source of fiber and folate
  • Full of vitamins A, C, E and K
  • Rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and free radicals
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps regulate blood sugar

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Golden Roasted Chickpeas, Avocado and a Lemon-Miso Dressing 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup or 1 can of chickpeas (if using dried, be sure to soak overnight)
  • 1 avocado
  • fresh lemon juice
  • turmeric
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • olive oil
  • miso paste (Miso Master makes a great chickpea-based variety if you are avoiding soy)
  • maple syrup or honey

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Toss with olive oil, salt and turmeric. Roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes until the chickpeas are firm but still fork-friendly.

Use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler to thinly slice or shave the asparagus. If this is too finicky, simply slice the asparagus very thinly with a knife.

For the dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, a dash of miso and a little bit of maple syrup or honey to taste. Use water to thin the dressing out if necessary.

Toss the asparagus in the dressing. Top with the roasted chickpeas and sliced avocado. Season as needed with salt and pepper.

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Photos: Alison Baenen 

Why We Crave What We Crave

Hunger is as much a physical manifestation as it is a societal and emotional one. Biologically, our bodies are hardwired to want certain flavors, nutrients and combinations thereof. Culturally, we’ve learned to eat in celebration, in mourning, at social gatherings and sometimes in secret. We also seek out food in an attempt to shift our emotional state: sugar, chocolate and caffeine are expansive and uplifting; bread, pasta and gooey cheese are soothing and cushioning. So when we experience cravings, is our body telling us it needs something? Or is our mind telling us it wants something?

 

 

If that seems like a lot to unpack while deciding what to make for dinner, you’re right. Taking a moment to identify where our cravings come from means we get to address deep-seated patterns and make balanced and informed choices around something we do at least three times a day. Here are a few factoids to consider when cravings kick in.

The Two Tastes That Dominate Our Cravings are Sweet & Salty


Sugar cravings make sense on a couple of levels:

  1. Sweet foods flood the brain with dopamine, the chemical that makes us happy.
  2. In nature, sweet foods are energy dense, so we’re genetically predisposed to favor them.
  3. Sugar helps us store fat, a biological advantage for our ancient ancestors whose mealtimes were uncertain.

 

A salt craving can mean a few things:

  1. We’re dehydrated. Our bodies are 70% water and thirst often masquerades as hunger. Salt helps us retain water, so a salt craving could actually be a cry for more H2O.
  2. We’re conditioned. Most processed foods are super high in sodium, so we may be craving what we’ve been conditioned to think of as a “normal” saltiness.
  3. We need minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, zinc and other trace minerals to stay healthy. Since we don’t really know what zinc tastes like we fall for salt when what we really need is nori, kale, chard, or wild caught salmon.
  4. We’re fatigued. Salt cravings can be a sign of adrenal fatigue, especially if accompanied by exhaustion and serious under-eye bags. (If that sounds all too familiar, consider getting your cortisol and adrenal levels tested.)

And a chocolate craving? Minerals again. Raw cacao is rich in magnesium, which women need more of when they’re on their periods. Vindicated!

 

Here’s one more morsel: When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies produce more ghrelin, a.k.a. the hunger hormone, which the body secretes when the stomach is empty. Or when we’re exhausted. Makes sense.
Sleep more = eat better.

 

At the heart of any mindfulness practice, like Right Nutrition, is the ability to tune in to ourselves. Learning to listen to our intuition and our body’s own inner wisdom is a powerful tool. It’s also a muscle that, like any other, requires regular use. An effective place to start is around our relationship with food. Learning to ask and answer the question what am I craving right now is the first step to empowering ourselves as conscious choosers. As opposed to ravenous maniacs. We’ve all been there.

 



Amazing (enticing!) food gradient photography by Brittany Wright

One-Day Cleanse

If the word cleanse has you picturing weird supplements, expensive juices, bone broth or a voluntary enema, take a moment to excise those thoughts from your mind. All clear? Despite its reputation, a cleanse can be, simply, simple. With spring approaching, the outside world is nudging us into awareness of new growth, so now is the perfect time to give your own system a seasonal reboot. Outlined below is a simple one-day cleanse that is easy to achieve yet still delivers some great benefits.

Like any other practice, a cleanse works best if you set an intention: The clearer it is, the more benefits you will receive. Here are a few:

  • To eat joyfully, mindfully and gratefully

  • To give my body a chance to rest and restore

  • To slow down and make space for a day of intentional self-care

First step: Plan ahead. Choose a day for your cleanse at least a week in advance. Give yourself time to look forward to and plan for it. Deciding to fast the day after a boisterous, excessive dinner party may seem like a good idea that morning, but you’ll end up hangry, tired and craving anything by lunchtime. Instead, treat your cleanse day like a hot date: Fall asleep dreaming about all the things you’re going to do (or not do), plan what you’re going to wear, and tell all your friends not to call — you’re going to be busy.

Instead of trying to fit your cleanse into your life, see about reordering your life–just for that day–to accommodate your cleanse.


If you can take a day off of work, do it. Turn on your out-of-office message and turn off your phone. In the week leading up to your cleanse, decide which self-care rituals you’d like to do and gather your supplies. Maybe you’d like to take an Epsom salt bath with one of your favorite essential oils; or take a long walk with the intention of smelling every flower you encounter; or spend an hour journaling, meditating, or drawing — whatever it is that brings you back to center.

Arguably the most important part of advance planning concerns what you’re going to eat. Below is a recipe for a simple, delicious and easy to digest mung bean and rice soup from Puakai Healing‘s Maggie Harrsen and Good Water Farms Brendan Davison. Prepare this recipe a day or two before your cleanse so it’s ready and waiting for you on the day of. Start the morning of your cleanse with a tall glass of room-temperature water with a splash of lemon juice. Keep your pot of mung beans simmering on low on the stove, and enjoy mindful bowls throughout the day.

Here are other rituals to consider:

Start the morning with oil pulling and tongue scrapping. Both part of an Ayurvedic approach to wellness, these practices promote toxin elimination, glowing skin and overall oral health. Swish a teaspoon or so of unrefined coconut oil in your mouth for up to 30 minutes, spit it outside or in your trashcan (so as not to clog the drain), and follow by dragging a tongue scrapper from the base to the tip of your tongue until it feels clean, rinsing the scrapper after each stroke.

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Dry skin brushing is another morning practice that will promote detoxification. Our skin is our largest organ, and using a natural fiber brush to stimulate and cleanse it improves circulation, reduces cellulite, tightens skin and strengthens the immune system. Do this first thing, perhaps while swilling coconut oil, before your morning shower while your skin is still dry. Using long strokes, start at the soles of your feet and work your way up the body, stroking toward your heart and moving clockwise around the navel and buttocks. End at your arms and hands.

Mung Bean and Rice Cleanse

Ingredients:

1 cup green mung beans (or lentils)

1 cup basmati rice

9 cups spring water

4-6 cups assorted seasonal vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, etc.)

2 yellow onions, chopped

1/3 cup grated ginger root

8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. red chilis, crushed

1 tbsp. sweet basil, dried

sea salt, to taste

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Rinse rice and beans. In a large pot, add 9 cups of spring water and bring to a boil. Add rice and beans and cook on a medium flame. Begin to chop vegetables and add to the simmering pot of rice and beans. Begin to chop onions, garlic and ginger. In a separate pan, brown onions, garlic and ginger in 1/2 cup of  olive oil or coconut oil. Add the spices to the oil and then combine this mixture with the mung beans and rice, stir often. Add the herbs. Continue to cook together until creamy and soup-like. Top with a dip of plain yogurt and freshly picked herbs or microgreens.

 

If this seems more nourishing and loving than some of the more hard-core cleanses you might have heard about or even tried, that’s because it is! The magic of this cleanse is giving the digestive system a break with a simple mono-diet. When we tax the system with hard-to-digest foods like processed foods, animal fats and proteins, starchy foods etc, it doesn’t often get a chance to recalibrate. In as little as one day you can give this over-worked system a restorative day off. Plus, the other detox methods, like dry brushing, are even more effective on a simple diet. Best of all, this is the type of cleanse you could factor into your regular weekly routine…

And, if after all this, you’re still dying to do a coffee enema, here’s a lovely how-to from mindbodygreen.

Big thanks and much love to Puakai Healing and Good Water Farms for the beautiful image and delicious recipe; tongue scraper and dry skin brush are on Amazon.com; burning sage shot found here

Sweet & Sensible Indulgences

With the holidays past, many of us turn to New Year’s resolutions – and who’s kidding who? Most resolutions center on food and exercise. Well, after a whirlwind of indulgence and activity, it’s a great idea to get centered and ground into some healthful practices. Bringing attention back to Right Movement by reinstating your exercise and yoga practice is a great place to start, as is inviting balance back to your Right Nutrition. It’s relatively easy to choose a hearty soup instead of a big steak, or have salad for lunch instead of a piece of pizza. But what to do about dessert? If you’ve got a sweet tooth it can be much tougher to work towards your goals.

 

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Right Nutrition can and should include the delicious flavors of your favorite desserts. Here are a few twists on traditional recipes that transform a potential regret into a worthy, healthy indulgence.

 

 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate from Chocolate Covered Katie

A vegan spin on the delicious Serendipity standard, this playful treat is almost TOO easy to make


 


 

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Peach Crisp from Martha Stewart

This recipe brightens up  grey winter days with the bright summery flavor of peaches. Swapping out the butter cuts saturated fat, and you can try using coconut oil for an even healthier boost.


 

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Dried Fruit Compote with Ginger Syrup from Epicurious

This compote is great over ice cream or shortbread for dessert – and we love it over yogurt in the morning. Dried fruit is perfect for the season, as is ginger, which supports digestion and warms up the body.

Bottoms Up: Herbal Infusions for Modern Health

In the last five years, New York City streets have transformed. Where once there was only Jamba Juice, serving sugar-filled smoothies, there are now Organic Avenues and Juice Press stores every few blocks. We could not be happier about the cultural shift towards drinking healthier, but amidst all the fancy juice names and even fancier storefronts, how do you know which drink is worth your buck?

Well, look no further — the next wave of health beverages is here.

Here at Five Pillars we’re juicing veterans, and no health drink has excited us more than Goldthread Herbal Elixirs — a newly-launched line of delicious herbal infusions, each expertly formulated to support different health goals. Given the power of plants, from ginseng to goji berries and turmeric to good-old-fashioned chamomile, it seems obvious that the answer to restoring balance to the modern diet lies in the ancient practice of consuming medicinal herbs. When enjoyed regularly, Goldthread Elixirs function much like a super-charged multivitamin, delivering the micronutrients necessary to maintain proper digestion, hormone balance, immune health and positive energy flow.

Goldthread is a small, grassroots company helmed by William Siff, an acupuncturist, herbalist and long-time herbal farmer, headquartered in Western Massachusetts. His work begins with a key belief:

“health is more than just the absence of disease, it is also the capacity to maintain balance, adaptability, and grace amidst the continuous demands and shifting currents of modern life.”

This idea perfectly complements the ethos of Right Nutrition, and the mindfulness lifestyle we strive to embody at Five Pillars Yoga. Luckily for us, Goldthread’s artful blend of herbs, spices, citrus, fruit, roots & berries doesn’t force us to sacrifice taste for health! These light and flavorful teas allow you to fully enjoy nourishing your mind, body and spirit. Also worth Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.26.31 AMnoting, unlike most “healthy” beverages, they do not contain honey, sugar, agave, maple syrup or artificial sweeteners. Goldthread Elixirs are gently sweetened by the incredible Asian monk fruit — a fruit whose sweetness comes not from fructose but from natural mogrosides (yes, we’re getting technical here) that not only have zero calories but also doesn’t elevate insulin or blood sugar levels.

 

** Goldthread Elixirs are currently available at the Yoga Shop and will be coming soon to a Whole Foods near you. You can also stock up online at Goldthread’s Online Store

 

Here are a few of our favorite flavors, each one crafted to prevent the winter blues from taking root in your mind and body.

El Sol: This bright and invigorating recipe is your source of sunlight during the gloomy winter months. El Sol is a perfect way to kick-start your day, activate your metabolism, support digestion, and get maximum energy and vitality from your day’s foods.

Formula highlights: ginger root, lemongrass, cardamom.

 

Schizaam: Schizaam provides a healthy alternative to sugar and caffeine during the busy holiday season when you need a boost of energy. This powerful elixir will restore harmony in your body, and provide the endurance you need to help get everything done, just in time.

Formula highlights: gogi berry, rose petal, orange peel.

 

Forcefield: An immune enhancing powerhouse! This tangy-sweet flavor is a favorite with kids, and is perfect for warding off coughs and colds! Drink Forcefield when traveling for the holidays, or begin the New Year by packing sweet protection into your child’s lunchbox!

Formula Highlights: elderberry, hibiscus, rose hips.

 

 

 

All Hail An Inspired Caesar

shipsLong-time friend and collaborater Jamie Sydney is not only an incredible chef, but actively lives the yogic-lifestyle through her dedication to her physical wellness and spiritual pursuits. We were lucky enough to have her cater our Summer Wellness Retreat, and many a dinner has been inspired by her blog. By combining fresh and high-quality ingredients with a dash of creativity, Jamie’s recipes are always healthy, satisfying and above all, delicious!

 

Read on and delight your palate!

 

I love kale in Caesar salads, but sometimes the dressings can be too thick and rich. This salad is kind of like a Caesar, but the dressing has olive oil in it instead of mayonnaise so it is a little lighter.

The pine nuts add a nice texture and nutty flavor.  A good parmesan like parmigiano reggiano rounds the flavors out.

If you are not familiar with meyer lemons, they are a type of lemon that has more of an orange flavor. They are not quite as tart and offer a brightness that lemons don’t.

You can find meyer lemons in many of the specialty food stores. They are a bright yellow orange. I like to buy a bunch of them and put them in a bowl on my table because they are so pretty and always add an unexpected flavor to foods.

This is a great weeknight salad that you can serve on the side with a good grilled chicken or steak recipe.  Toss the salad 20 minutes before you serve it to allow the dressing to soften the kale and sprouts a little. Enjoy!

Shaved Kale and Brussel Sprouts with
Meyer Lemon Dressing

Serves 4

 

Salad:

1 Large Bunch of Tuscan Kale, washed, shaved thinly

2 Handfuls of Brussel Sprouts, shaved thinly

1 Meyer Lemon, Zest

¾ Cup of Shaved Parmesan

2 Tablespoons of Toasted Pine Nuts

 

Meyer Lemon Dressing:
Aromatic garlic still life, ingredients for aioli sauce2 Meyer Lemons, juice only (can use regular lemons as well)

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

½ Clove of Garlic, minced or whole to marinate after the dressing is made

2 Tablespoons of Crème Fraiche

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

 

To Prepare:

1. Cut the kale leaves and brussel sprouts into thin strips. If the leaves are large, you should remove the stems because they will be too tough. Place the greens in a bowl with the zest, shaved parm, and pine nuts.

2. Whisk the lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the crème fraiche until it is mixed in with no lumps. With a slow and steady stream, whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning.

3. Toss the salad with the dressing and taste for seasoning one more time. Garnish the salad with some more shaved parmesan and pine nuts.

 

You get more delicious recipes and lifestyle tips on Jamie’s website by clicking here.

More is More!

The Standard American Diet (shortened to the tragically-appropriate acronym SAD) practically guarantees inflammation.

The food most Americans eat is full of pro-inflammatory compounds, yet lacking balanced nutrition and anti-oxidants that combat inflammation. We’re talking about refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour (which are nothing short of poisons for the body), as well as many of the unhealthy fats and oils, commercial dairy and hydrogenated oils found in most restaurants and prepared foods regardless of price point.

In balance, inflammation truly is the cornerstone of our immune response. But due to diet and lifestyle many of us become chronically inflamed which is not at all a good thing. 

Inflammation is a root cause for many chronic conditions including:

  • Arthritis
  • Neuro-degenerative Diseases
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Digestive Distress & Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Food Intolerances and Allergies
  • Osteopirosis
  • Diabetes
  • Even Cardio-Vascular Diseases and Cancers

World-renowned doctors, including Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Mark Hyman, advocate living an “anti-inflammatory” lifestyle.

A great place to start is what we put on our plates.

By choosing anti-inflammatory foods we begin to support

  • rebalancing the system
  • regulating the immune system
  • and healing on the cellular level

So, while there are powerful elimination diets that can re-boot the system – we can also address inflammation by ADDING anti-inflammatory foods into our diet.

 

Here is our list of the top 13 foods to add:

 

Green Leafy Vegetables — Rich in antioxidants that restore cellular health
Celery — balances blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease
Beets — Their deep color indicates the powerful vitamins and minerals they contain. Chock full of antioxidants for cell repair, plus high levels of magnesium and potassium – a super food for vegetarians
Broccoli — the potent antioxidants in broccoli lower oxidative stress and helps reduce chronic inflammation
Bluberries — slow cognitive decline, improves memory and motor function
Pineapple — improves heart health, high in Vitamin C, B1 and that hard-to-find Manganese
Salmon — preferably Wild Alaskan, this fish is an incredible source of Omega-3s which reduce inflammation and lower risk of chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis and heart disease
Walnuts — the brain food, full of Omegas and manganese, protect against metabolic syndrome and type 2 Diabetes
Coconut Oil — research has shown the lipids found in coconut oil heal arthritis
Chia Seeds — heart helpers! Rich in Omega-3 and -6 which reverse inflammation
Flax Seeds — again with the omegas! But beyond that, also rich in detoxifying fiber and phytonutrients that aid in hormone balance
Turmeric — studies have shown this root to be more powerful than asprin and ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. Add the powder to everything or use the root for tea
Ginger — breaks down accumulation of toxins in the body, lightening the load of the immune system

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Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

The Pleasure of Eating

Modern nutrition and a thriving diet culture has reduced our understanding of food and nourishment to measurements of calories, carbs, fat, or specific ingredients or components of food. This mentality often leads us to limit some aspect of our diet with the hope of feeling energized and reaching/maintaining a healthy weight. Many of the fad diets are restriction-based and suggest that we will finally feel fit and healthy if we simply remove an ingredient or macronutrient from our diets. The problem is that most restriction-based diets don’t work and nutrition fads seem to change each year. And, most importantly, we miss out on what Wendell Berry refers to as “the pleasure of eating.”

A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.

We have many incredible leaders in health and nutrition who are responding to fad diets by offering a balanced perspective, recommending farm-fresh, organic food and healthy portion sizes. But even a healthy, balanced approach in the West focuses on macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, minerals, water) and often overemphasizes the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals found in different foods or supplements).

While understanding the basics of nutrition can support a healthy approach to nutrition, ancient cuisine and Aurvedic nutrition helps us to go deeper.

International food cultures remind us fast-paced, “eat lunch at the desk” Americans to slow down, cook, enjoy mealtimes in community, and to relish in the experience of eating. These long-lasting cuisines assume that we will be cooking from raw ingredients opposed to packaged foods, because they emerged before the industrial revolution, which made processed foods readily available. For thousands of years, the only option was fresh and local produce, wild-caught fish/poultry, grass-fed meat, and whole grains. Modern science backs up ancient wisdom, with many well-credentialed dietitians and physicians recommending that we simply slow down and chew our food! Not to mention, it is far more enjoyable to actually taste the flavors in one bite — to savor them in fact — before jumping ahead to the next.  

 

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Ayurvedic nutrition takes a slightly different angle on the pleasure of eating by suggesting that food is medicine. Ayurvedic nutrition suggests that the flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent) and qualities (heavy, moist, cooling, hot, light, dry) of the food and drink we consume provide us with all of the information we need to maintain balance in our bodies. This article from Eat Taste Heal covers the flavors and qualities of food from an Ayurvedic perspective: The Six Tastes: Our Guidemap to Optimal Nutrition.


As I mentioned in my recent article,
Four Ayurvedic Practices to Boost Your Immune System This Fall, Ayurvedic nutrition also encourages us to see vegetables as vehicles for healing herbs. Although fresh produce boasts a long list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that supports health and vitality, adding healing spices such as turmeric or ginger provides the additional wellness boost by reducing inflammation, optimizing brain function, and preventing/treating cancer. 

Often the pleasure of eating can originate in the pleasure of creating — putting together ingredients that balance flavor, color and texture, for a mosaic of nutritional delight. If you haven’t already included these superfoods in your culinary palette, the excerpts below might inspire you.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice that spans cultures – it is a major ingredient in Indian curries, and makes American mustard yellow. But evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action.

One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric benefits studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip.

Reviewing some 700 studies, Duke concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects. 

Selection taken from Dr. Weil’s article on the super-spice turmeric: Three Reasons to Eat Turmeric

Ginger

As the world’s most widely cultivated spice, ginger may also be the world’s most versatile, evidence-based natural health remedy. Numerous studies have been conducted on the medicinal benefits of this wonder spice for over 100 health conditions. It has a long history of use, and as a testimony to its numerous benefits, it remains a component of more than 50% of all traditional herbal remedies.

In India, Ayurvedic texts consider ginger to be one of the most important herbs available, to the extent of describing it as an entire medicine chest in itself. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe ginger as a powerful digestive aid since it fuels digestive fire, whets the appetite, and clears the body’s micro-circulatory channels. This helps to improve the assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues. Ginger is also used in Ayurveda as a remedy for joint pain, nausea and motion sickness.

With such staggering benefits, it’s no wonder the spice has been a staple in kitchens and medicine cabinets for over five thousand years. Moreover, it continues to prove to be an effective natural remedy for many modern diseases.

Selection taken from www.ishafoundation.org. Check out the full article on the health benefits of ginger: 10 Health Benefits of Ginger Root: The Wonder Spice.

 

Defeating Fall Dryness

Can you feel that?
The qualities of the world around you as we settle into autumn?

You might notice a certain crispness in the air, you might feel the wind blowing through, the dryness of the leaves as they become more brittle and fall to earth. You might also sense a change in the pace of life — as kids go back to school, as we rededicate to work. Things seem to speed up, responsibilities swirl around, and all of a sudden it feels we have a lot of balls in the air.

And you might be wondering: What does all of this have to do with Me?

Well, according to Ayurveda, it has a LOT to do with you.
*
Check out our Intro To Ayurveda Article for some context*

Autumn is the Vata time of year, and just as these qualities of dryness, cold, increased movement, and wind affect our environment, they can affect our physical and mental wellbeing.

~ Just as the leaves get dry, you may notice your skin thirsting for moisture.
~ Just as the leaves blow in the breeze, you may notice your thoughts     whirlwind.
~ Just as the days start to shorten, you may notice your energy reserves waning and you might become more fatigued.

As you tune in to the natural rhythms around you, you can begin to see how they are mirrored in your own health. And from there you can begin to create balance.

Ayurveda is a lifelong study and practice, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few easy ways you can incorporate this wisdom into your daily routine.

Here are Three Easy Ways to Boost Your Moisture This Season:

1. Heighten your Hydration with Aloe

Of course we need to be drinking water, and yes, perhaps even more now that it’s so dry out. But why not benefit from one of nature’s incredible super-plants as well? Known as the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians, LIL003_Xlaloe is perhaps best known in the west as a soothing topical ointment for burns. It’s aloe’s soothing, moisturizing and nourishing actions that help regenerate skin, and taken internally the same principals apply. Aloe juice and gel is now widely available for purchase, and goes great in smoothies at home – here are a few delicious recipes. If you’re buying a store-bought aloe juice drink, be sure to check the sugar content – many of the bottled beverages add refined sugars, which are dehydrating… kind of defeats the purpose! Aloe is with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and around 200 active plant compounds, so while it is incredibly hydrating, it also supports good digestion, healthy blood sugar levels, skin health, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity.

2. Supplement Your Suppleness with Coconut Oil Capsules 

Coconut has been having a moment. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s been lauded for countless health effects, and the oil has a plethora of uses from cooking, to “oil pulling,” to topical moisturizing of skin and hair. And of 522874-Coconut-capscourse coconut water is a delicious and hydrating beverage. Well there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s already a favorite: Coconut Oil Capsules. In New York where time is precious we appreciate when something beneficial can be made convenient, or even down right easy! Coconut oil capsules can be carried with you so you can take them a couple times day, and they’re great for travel. Best of all they moisturize from the inside out.

 

3. Show Yourself a Little Love with Abhyanga

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of massaging the body with warm oil. It nourishes the body and lubricates the joints, benefits circulation and of course, softens skin, along with a host of other effects. There are specific techniques for abhyanga, and different oils can be used for different conditions and constitutions. But even the simplest version will have a great impact. Sesame oil is particularly beneficial in the fall, but coconut, almond, even jojoba will do just fine. My favorite way to include Abhyanga in my routine is to warm the oil (the same way you’d warm maple syrup, in a glass in a pot of water on the stove), apply the oil (using long strokes on the limbs and sweet, round circles on the joints), let it sit for about 20 minutes and then take a nice hot shower. The hot water will drive the oil into your system, and then you can go on about your day without being all greasy! If you don’t have time to do your whole body pick the joints that are asking for it. The word for oil in Sanskrit is sneha, which also translates as “love.” And indeed this practice is nothing less!

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cilantro-Avocado-Lime Dressing

Have you heard that “eating from the rainbow” supports optimal health? Well, this recipe is as colorful as it gets! With Fall equinox just around the corner, we can already see the leaves beginning to turn as the incredible deciduous trees begin to put on their annual artful display. And seasonal foods also begin to transition into an explosion of Fall colors— the oranges of Winter squash (harvested throughout the Fall and stored in the winter), the reds of bell peppers, and the yellows of fresh corn on the cob.

 

Bright and delicious… and packed with incredible nutrition… this salad will not disappoint! The orange color in the butternut squash is indicative of vitamin A, which is essential for the health of your eyes and skin. This nutrient-dense superfood contains more potassium than a banana, supporting cell and tissue regeneration in the body. The bell pepper is full of vitamin-c and antioxidants, boosting your overall immunity. And fresh corn offers phytochemicals that support healthy vision, as well as fiber to cleanse the system.

 

The avocado and olive oil provide a lovely dose of healthy fats to help your body absorb all of these amazing vitamins and support your skin’s radiant glow. And don’t let the word “fat” mislead you! Avocado has been known to support weight-loss.

 

That’s not all! The lime and cilantro also boost your immune system. The lime alkalizes the body, while the cilantro balances blood-sugar levels and contains strong cancer-fighting antioxidants. Complete the rainbow by topping the salad with some blue borage flowers and purple nasturtiums.

 

Roasted butternut squash salad with cilantro-avocado-lime dressing is a perfect seasonal dish to prepare on Sunday to supplement lunches and dinners… or add quinoa or beans and turn this salad into a meal!

 

Bon appetit!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 bunch cilantro 
  • 3-4 limes
  • 1 avocado
  • olive oil
  • water to thin dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: beans, quinoa, edible flowers

 

Directions:

 

Step One: For the Butternut:

 

  1. Peel the butternut squash whole. Then slice it in half  and scoop the seeds out. Chop the squash into even, bite-sized cubes.
  2. Toss cubed squash with olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast squash in the oven at 375* for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the squash to the other side with a spatula and roast for another 10-20 minutes, until cooked through— soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
  5. Set aside to cool.

 

Step Two: For the Red Pepper, Corn, and Cilantro:

 

  1. Shuck the corn, remove all of the tassels, and slice the kernels off of the cob.
  2. Core the pepper and slice into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. Coarsely chop ½ cup cilantro leaves.
  4. Place the red pepper, corn, butternut squash (room temp), and cilantro into a large salad bowl and toss with salt and pepper (to taste).

 

Step Three: For the Dressing:

  1. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 limes into a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup cilantro (with stems). Add the meat of 1 avocado and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss in a pinch salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Add water to thin the dressing to a desirable consistency.

 

Step 4: Portion out salad and drizzle dressing over each bowl. Top with a sprig of cilantro or parsley and edible flowers (nasturtium, borage, calendula).

 

Variation: Add quinoa or beans and turn this salad into a meal!

 

Simply Delicious Summer Recipes For A Gourmet Dinner Party

When crafting the menu for our Summer Wellness Retreat, co-founder Karen Mehiel and long-time collaborator chef Jaime Sydney wanted to not only come up with delicious dishes, but ones that upheld the pillar of Right Nutrition.

They began with quality, seasonal ingredients… then created some fun and balanced combinations… which allowed the preparations to remain super simple.

The results were palate-pleasing and packed with nutrition.

Below you’ll find recipes for a light and flavorful quinoa salad, perfect to pair with a nice piece of arctic char finished with a zesty lemon & herb green sauce.

The quinoa is a super-food, as we know, with a good bit of protein and twice as much fiber as other grains. The raw zucchini in the salad helps with cholesterol and weight management, plus delivers high doses of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants for healthy skin, hair, eyes and immune function. Heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil has a strong concentration of polyphenols, which have both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, the lemon and herbs alkalize and cleanse the entire body.

These dishes are flavorful, healthy and as gourmet as it gets… And they are easy breezy to prepare!


Roasted Arctic Char with Meyer Lemon and a Green Herb Sauce

*Serves 12

 

Ingredients

For the Fish: 

  • 12 Arctic Char Filets
  • 3 Meyer Lemons, zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 4 Cups of Parsley leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 Bunches of Chives
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 Pinches of Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Directions

1. Place the char on a parchment lined baking sheet. Season the fish with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.

2. To make the sauce, pulse the herbs in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add salt and pepper. With the blade running pour in the olive oil until it is blended. Cover the sauce until it is ready to be served. Serve on the fish or on the side.

 

Lunch2

 

Green Quinoa with Arugula, Mint, Pistachios, and Raw Zucchini

*Serves 6

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Quinoa
  • 5 Cups of boiling water
  • ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • ¾ Cup of Pistachios
  • 1/2 Bunch of Parsley, cleaned, chopped
  • 6 Mint Sprigs, leaves removed, cleaned, julienned
  • 1 Zucchini, diced into small squares
  • 1 ½ Cups of Baby Arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Boil the water in a medium large pot. Add a few pinches of salt to the water  and cook the quinoa for 20 minutes (or until the grains open up). Set the quinoa aside to cool.

2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix. Easy breezy.

 

Lunch1

 

 

The Best Green Smoothie

Sipping green juice and blending healthy smoothies is all the rage these days. Our bodies buzz with abundant energy as we soak up a rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the effects of juicing can be felt immediately, the leafy greens can taste bitter making this morning practice less than appetizing. 

 

The trick to cutting out the bitter undertones of raw leafy greens is easy breezy. Simply add a healthy dose of cinnamon.

 

When you add cinnamon, the bitter flavor disappears, not to mention this incredible spice boosts your metabolism, decreases blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is chock full of antioxidants. But don’t take my word… the proof is in the smoothie.

 

And remember, there is no need to suffer through the process of nourishing your amazing bod! Healthy foods and drinks can (and should) taste delightful… especially your green morning smoothie. This Green Goddess Smoothie is a perfect treat before yoga class and can pick up your energy during an afternoon slump. So, before you reach for the coffee or sugar, consider blending your greens.

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cinnamon
  • 16 oz. coconut water (you can also use fresh apple juice to keep the smoothie local and seasonal)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding blueberries or fresh peaches to the mix or turn this smoothie into a meal by adding coconut milk or an avocado.

Directions:

  • Place the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into your favorite glassware and savor.

*makes 2 servings

 

sources:

*banner image taken from www.publichealthalert.org

*cinnamon image taken from npr.org

East End Eats

Historic and stately, Topping Rose House is a refuge of modern luxury in the heart of Bridgehampton. This boutique inn boasts a picturesque rural location, wellness center and swimming pool overlooking a mature orchard. But for locals and summer residents alike, the restaurant is the real draw.

 

Established by Tom Colicchio when the inn opened in 2013, the restaurant is known for letting the natural flavors of quality ingredients shine. The menu has a generous selection of starters and sides, plus pastas and hearty mains, so you can keep it light or go for full on-indulgence.

 

Vegetarians might opt for the First Harvest Cauliflower, served with summer truffle and soft boiled quail’s egg, and anchovies and a lemon vinaigrette to brighten it up, followed by the creamy garden pea Risotto, finished with golden chanterelles and pecorino.

 

Pork_LOmnivores can go for a gourmet surf-and-turf: starting with the Local Hand Dived Sea Scallops with royal Siberian caviar, summer truffles, chicken wing, and romanesco, and then the Suffolk County Porcelet, served with a salt-baked watermelon radish, pommes puree and pork jus.

 

And if choosing from all the creative options is too overwhelming, Topping Rose has created a three-course prix-fix that is no-less decadent. If you don’t stay to savor the Basil Panna Cotta with sweet corn ice cream, peaches and blackberries, you can always take home a bag of the restaurant’s sugared doughnuts.

 

It’s relationships with local farms, fishmongers and ranches that ensure the ingredients are fresh and of superior quality. Organic produce from Dale & Bette’s, local fungi from East End Mushroom Company, poultry and eggs from Browders Birds and cheeses-glorious-cheeses from The Milk Pail, Lioni Cheeses and Cavaniolas are some of the goodies that make their way onto the seasonal menus.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.39.19 AM

 

Contemporary photography is the aesthetic focal point throughout the rooms, with a backdrop that is farmy and modern all at once. Crisp, white tablecloths dangle over wide-planked floors, and two original fireplaces offset the sleek lacquer bar.

 

 

 

Try to dine on the wrap-around porch one of these late-summer evenings. It’s a gracious space to enjoy some Right Nutrition, and that isn’t always so easy to find in the Hamptons.

 

 

And! This Sunday (August 30th) TRH is hosting a Clambake in their storybook orchard, complete with Hush Puppies, Fried Oysters, Nova Scotia Lobster, and more, all accompanied by wine from Wölffer Estate Vineyard.  Space is limited, they warn, so call .631.537.0870 or email to reserve.

 

 

Sexy Summer Watermelon Salad

What’s better on a sultry summer night than a cool summer salad? Especially one that might also set the mood for a bit of romance! This watermelon salad offers a fun twist on a classic, by subbing basil for mint, and regular goat cheese for feta. The result is a delectable combination of flavors: sweet melon, savory cheese and bright basil, perfect for a date night al fresco.

Besides being delicious, this salad has a plethora of health benefits that will literally make you glow! True to its name, watermelon is 92% water and each bite is packed with potassium, vitamin A, B6, C, and more lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit or vegetable. This incredible superfruit has an alkalizing effect on your body, reducing inflammation and fighting disease. But that’s not all: watermelon is a natural aphrodisiac and may have viagra-like effects on the body. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, so the sexy health benefits show up in the bedroom. But equally appealing, it improves circulation and overall sense of well-being.

Basil has incredible health properties that turn this meal into medicine. Basil improves digestion, is disease fighting, supports cognitive function and reduces inflammation. Oh… and it also happens to be a natural aphrodisiac, which may be why this summer herb became the “symbol of love” in Italy.

No ingredient in this recipe goes without perks. The olive oil provides the healthy fats that are necessary to absorb the abundance of vitamins and nutrients. The crumbled goat cheese provides some lovely protein. And the vinegar or lime juice also alkalizes the body.

Sexy Summer Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1 watermelon (approx. 5-7 lbs)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (for a variation, try lemon/lime juice)
  • ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs. basil (ribboned, chopped or full leaves)
  • 4 basil sprigs (for garnish)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
Easy Breezy Instructions:
  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing to the side.
  2. Cut watermelon into cubes. Place in a large salad bowl. Add the chopped basil and crumbled cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss the salad, so the basil, cheese, and dressing are distributed evenly.
  3. Portion the salad into four bowls and top with basil leaves

* Makes 4 large servings

* This salad should be served immediately. If you bring this recipe to a gathering, hold off on adding the dressing until mealtime.

Spring Detox & Cleanse

Do you hear the word “detox” and imagine yourself starving for a day while you dream about chocolate cake? Or do you picture yourself quickly dropping annoying pounds that your body has been holding onto for years? The concept of detoxification, which used to be reserved for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, has been hijacked by the diet industry. It’s time to reclaim this incredible practice and invite some wellness back into our lives. In today’s world, the idea of “detoxing” can quickly be misconstrued as another extreme fad diet. However, the practice of inviting in more plant-based foods, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate rest, removing stimulants, breathing deeply (practicing pranayama), and setting aside time for adequate relaxation supports the body in doing its incredibly intricate job of maintaining balance.

Our bodies have incredibly sophisticated, built-in detoxification systems (liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph and skin) that provide the ongoing daily cleansing that keeps us healthy and energized. And yet, we live in a world where we eat food that looks nothing like the plant from which it originated. We drink sugar, caffeine and alcohol to boost our energy or alter our state of mind. We breathe smoggy air and the skin (the largest organ of our body) is exposed to many different chemicals and hormones on a daily basis (some even found in our water supply). Not to mention our workday has become longer and longer, often requiring us to sit in front of a computer for long hours.

Planning a detox can be an act of self-love, particularly if you reclaim the practice and take a multidimensional approach.

Nutrition matters. Plant-based foods are where it’s at… For inspiration, check out these fun & engaging food blogs with recipes that nourish your body with an abundance of macronutrients (vitamins, minerals, water, protein, carbs, fat) that will energize you from the inside-out. Add simple practices like sipping lemon juice with water and apple cider vinegar drinks, which have an alkalizing effect on the body reducing inflammation and restore natural balance. Rather than deprive yourself of foods you love, create a sense of abundance around food by preparing plenty of fresh options and eating when you are hungry… and stopping when you have had enough.

Body matters. Plan rejuvenating and relaxing activities: yin and restorative yoga at the studio, walking in nature, bathing with epsom salts and essential oils, dry brushing, and getting to bed early will all support the detox process. A long exhale is perhaps the most effective detox there is. Add some pranayama  into your yoga routine; experience spinal twists to wring out the organs and try some restorative postures to let go on the cellular, muscular and fascial levels.

Mind matters. Digital detox anyone? Fasting from technology may be almost unimaginable in this day and age, but it is well worth the experiment. Let’s be real… we are all so hooked to our devices… Sometimes we have no idea what to do with the time and space between conversation and activities. Take a break from technology and say YES to your mental health. What to do instead? Take time to meditate or practice simple mindfulness practices (like this mindful eating activity with chocolate!). This will help to create a sense of inner calm, awareness, and non-judgment that you can carry into the rest of your life.

Heart matters. Treat yourself with loving kindness and allow for healthy connections with people in your life by using affirmations. This will rejuvenate and restore your entire being, encouraging a sense of abundance and peace in your detox process. The mantra for the heart chakra is “love and be loved,” or “I have the right to love and be loved.” Schedule time out to reflect on matters of love and the heart, what works and what doesn’t work for us, and practice letting go of what no longer serves us.. if only for this moment.

Spirit matters. Take time  to remove the layers of clutter that dim your inner light or bury your true self by communing with nature, experiencing sacred spaces, listening to beautiful music, letting go of effort and hard work, entering flow, and taking time to become interested in your inner world. This will, without a doubt, support the process of aligning all parts of your being with the calling of your soul.

Any or all of these practices will support a renewal in all parts of your life… so this weekend take some time to truly detoxify in the way that is right for you. 

Summer Smoothie Bowls

In a place like NYC — lively, spirited, and demanding our attention and effort from the moment we wake up — it can be difficult to remember to eat breakfast. With crazy time crunches in the mornings, it’s hard to squeeze in a meal before your 7am yoga class, let alone have time to digest and get ready for your day. Although there are some who can successfully do fasted workouts in the mornings (working out on an empty stomach), not every body functions the same. Personally, I can’t practice asana on an empty stomach. If I don’t eat anything prior to my practice, I get lightheaded and start thinking of all the things I’m going to eat right after savasana. The foods I’m envisioning in my head aren’t always the healthiest, and I’m no longer present in class.

My solution is to wake up each morning and make a smoothie bowl (gluten-free and vegan), packed with fresh fruit and nuts. It’s easily digestible since it’s more water-based, and the fruit offers both soluble and insoluble fiber to help start your day with the Right Nutrition. The nuts add a yummy crunch to the smoothie and helps pack in healthy fats and protein. Both recipes take around 10 minutes to prepare, but they can be prepped the night before if you’re short on time. — Meme Tsung

 

  • Cashew BowlBanana Dream Smoothie Bowl
  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • Chill in fridge for 10 minutes. Blend and top with cashews, rest of banana, blueberries, more chia and cinnamon

 

Bluberry Bowl

 

  • Blueberry Bowl Smoothie Bowl
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients. Garnish with more blueberries, handful of cashews and some cinnamon! Ta-da!

 

Thanks to Meme for sharing this delicious post! Come and visit her in the studio for one of her lively, flowing classes!