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Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

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More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

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Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

relaxation

Using Yoga for Stress Relief

 Thanks to Kathy our Yoga Expert for sharing more Yoga Benefits.  I think this is particularly useful considering the holidays and busy seasons are quickly upon us.  Please visit her site for more great information.

 

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Aloha!  I’ve been asked back to write a follow-up for my last post. In this post, I will be diving further into the first health benefit of yoga (on my list at least because each benefit should be number 1)…relaxation.

 

As we all know, this time of year is the beginning of the crazy, hectic, and busy holiday season.  When the rest of the natural world is starting to slow down and hibernate, we humans begin to pick up our pace to make sure all holidays, kids school work, after school activities, and our adult lives are taken care of.

 

Yoga can help you handle all of this, slow down, and stay more calm in high pressure situations by reminding you how much better you feel when you do take the time to relax.  The next time you are in a yoga class, focus on your breath in each posture.  It doesn’t matter what your posture looks like compared to others.  All that matters is you. If you can breathe comfortably in the posture, then you are doing it right!

 

If you generally don’t take yoga classes or don’t have any offered near you, try this next exercise.  It only takes 5 minutes and you will feel so great afterwards: (this practice can be accomplished whether you are stressed, just need 5 minutes to yourself, or for any reason)

  1. Find a place to sit comfortably or lie down.

  2. Close your eyes and allow yourself to sink into the chair or floor you are on

  3. Begin to focus on your breath, feeling the rise and fall of your chest, feeling the warm air from your nose float over your upper lip.

  4. Allow all thoughts to float away, knowing that they will be there again when you need them

  5. Breathe for as long as you’d like.

When you finish the practice, slowly sit or stand up and slowly begin to move back into your routine for the day.

 

As I said before, you don’t need to be in a stressful place to feel the benefits of this practice.  Although it definitely helps stress, this practice will help you be more productive in your work and even throughout your life as a person of many roles.  So just breathe and focus on the simple things in life that we all generally take for granted every day.

 

Namaste.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Exercise, Guest Blog Leave a comment

Feeling Frazzled?

I give props to my friend for introducing me to the GPS4Soul app!  This smart phone app helps track your stress level at anytime.  I admit that I thought she had gone to the “alternative” side and was suspicious about accuracy until I tested it with our office pulse oximeter ( Eek–it was dead on every time!).   This smart phone app  measures your heart rate over a period of 75 seconds to check for its variability.  The Institute of Heart Math has published many peer-reviewed articles (IE:   The American Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine–they are all on their website) that support  research concluding that stress levels can be monitored by heart rate variability.  It really works!   I have used the app the last few weeks and found that my stress levels are high in the afternoon (usually 3-4 pm).   I’ve tried breathing exercises and mantras to de-stress before making the trip home from the office .  It’s helping!  I also turned off the radio in the car and turned my phone on silent to minimize distractions.  The best thing is that the gps4soul  (type this in your search mechanism to download) app is free and requires no additional attachments or fees.  You don’t have much to lose by trying it out.

So here’s my version of the physiology extensively simplified–

1.  The heart and the brain influence each other’s functions.

2.  The signals that the heart sends to the brain influence cognitive function and emotional processing.

3.  Stress and negative emotions will influence your heart rate which can be monitored closely.

4.  Monitoring your heart rate will help you access your level of stress throughout the day.

5.  This app gives you some deep breathing exercises, mantras, and affirmations that will help you calm your mood within minutes at any time of the day.

 

Sorry Bobby Knight—“The Power of Negative Thinking” may work for team sports.  However,  when it comes to daily living–Positive thinking is the key to health and vitality.

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Check out http://www.heartmath.org for more details.  This site explains all the science.

 

Comment or email me if you try this–I’m dying to hear what you think!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Mind, Spirit Leave a comment

Pass the salt!

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think salt is a bad thing.  Actually epsom salts made of magnesium sulfate have great medicinal properties when absorbed through the skin.  The biggest benefit is that it helps replete magnesium in the body.  This helps with muscle cramping often associated with chronic dehydration (from too much Mtn Dew), works as an anti-inflammatory, and removes dead skin.  The biggest benefit is that magnesium helps raise serotonin levels which elevate mood and concentration.  With most of the country suffering from adrenal fatigue, we could all use a little elevation in mood.  Last but not least,  and most important for me, it will help relieve foot odor.  I have two children I need to douse in epsom salts baths tonight.  The stench radiating from our house is unreal!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments