Water

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I have a love/hate relationship with water.  I know that it is necessary, but I do not necessarily like it (as with many things in life).  I drink it because my body requires it to function properly.  There are flavored waters (with artificial sweeteners) to help with the taste, but they are too sweet.   I normally flavor with fresh lemon wedges or other fruit to mask the taste.

Water is much more important to our bodies than we realize…

Our bodies require water...

Our bodies require water…

Hula Hoop!

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Do you remember the Hula Hoop?  I am telling my age, but I used to love the Hula Hoop as a child.  A couple of years ago, I was reintroduced to the Hula Hoop.  This reintroduction centered around hooping for exercise and weight loss as opposed to fun.  I purchased a weighted Hula Hoop.  Yes, a weighted and grooved Hula Hoop.  My entire abdominal area hurt like the dickens for days after my first session.  The Hula Hoop was retired to the closet.  LOL

My daughter found it yesterday and decided to use it.  Tee hee hee.  Today, I am nodding my head in understanding at seeing her grimace at every move…  This Hula Hoop is no joke!  I purchased my Hula Hoop (Sports Hoop, excuse me) here: http://www.sports-hoop.com/indmain_sportshoop.aspx

4 lb. hula hoops

I jogalked 5.5 miles this evening, so “The Hoop” will have to wait until tomorrow.  I definitely plan to give it another try.  Hooping will be the next addition to my exercise regimen.  I refuse to be defeated!  LOL

Jen Moore lost 40 lbs. in 3 months after beginning a Hula Hooping exercise program.  Here is her story…

Weight loss with a twist: How one woman lost 143lbs…by learning how to hula hoop

Losing weight is always a question of mind over matter but for one morbidly obese wife and mother, getting healthy was easy and fun.

Jen Moore, 31, weighed 288 lbs. when she took up hula hooping as an effort to slim down. Now, thanks to the childhood sport, she is a trim 145 lbs. and has become an instructor for the company that helped her shed the weight.

Mrs. Moore, who measures 5ft. 5in., credits the low-impact activity with toning her core right from the beginning when she found she had to keep bending over to pick up the fallen hoop from the ground.

Jen Moore before she lost 143lbs thanks to hula-hooping
Jen Moore now weighs 145lbs

Let’s twist again: Jen Moore, 31, lost 143 lbs. when she took up hula hooping and changed her diet.

Writing about her experience for the Huffington Post she explained how within three months of learning the skill, she had lost a whopping 40 lbs. and had begun to enjoy the twisting thanks to instructional DVD’s from Hooopnotica.

Mrs. Moore’s fitness kick began in 2008 after she was asked to leave a fairground ride when the safety bar would not close over her stomach.

Hula-moly! Jen Moore's dramatic weight loss from 288lbs to 145lbs as charted by the hooping fanatic herselfA cyclical, linear story: Mrs. Moore changed her lifestyle after being asked to leave a fairground ride in 2008 because the safety bar would not close over her stomach.

Addicted to eating, she and her husband, Keith, had to re-examine their approach to food and the way they mindlessly ate out of boredom, as well as their lazy lifestyle.

Recalling past attempts to lose weight the hula-hoop instructor said: ‘We had both tried dieting in the past; I was the queen of yo-yo dieting. It just didn’t work.’

But after the humiliation of the fairground incident, Mrs. Moore was determined to lose weight and provide a better example for her then baby girl.

Before: Jen and her husband Keith were both obese on account of year of lazy, mindless eating. They changed their unhealthy lifestyle together to set an example for their childrenBefore: Jen and her husband Keith were both obese on account of year of lazy, mindless eating. They changed their unhealthy lifestyle together to set an example for their children.

Happy family: The couple and their two children now approach their eating from a different perspective and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables instead of chips and sugary foods

Happy family: The couple and their two children now approach their eating from a different perspective and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables instead of chips and sugary foods.

‘That day, I pledged to return to the theme park with my child the following year,’ she remembered. ‘This time as the healthier, slimmer, hot mom!’

Mrs. Moore started gently and privately, taking a hoop to the local basketball court and trying to familiarize herself with the movement.

‘It took me over two weeks just to be able to keep the hoop spinning around my waist, but from day one, I felt a tremendous difference in my core strength, confidence and energy,’ she gushed on the healthy living blog.

Tail spin: A promotional shot for Hoopnotica's outdoor classes. The company's instructional DVD's helped Mrs Moore lose the 143lbsTail spin: A promotional shot for Hoopnotica’s outdoor classes. The company’s instructional DVD’s helped Mrs. Moore lose the 143 lbs.

The reinvigorated exercise fan also changed her diet, splitting her Starbucks skinny Frappuccinos with her husband and reaching for grapes instead of chips when she was reading or watching television.

Explaining the difference in her routine she said: ‘We eat healthy now and make sure our kids do, too. We are cultivating our kids’ taste buds to like healthy foods. We don’t want our kids to become obese and suffer like we did for so long. We are empowering our kids to make the right food choices.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2117341/Weight-loss-twist-How-woman-lost-143lbs–learning-hula-hoop.html#ixzz218AiXcr7

11 Miraculous Ways Magnesium Heals Your Mind & Body

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I take Epsom Salts baths for the relaxing feeling it provides and the therapy it provides for sore muscles.  Magnesium has many more benefits for us that sore muscle therapy and relaxation.

Take a look at this very informative article:

I could easily write a whole book on Magnesium and its very powerful healing properties. Indeed, many books have been dedicated to the subject, and I encourage everyone to read them.

As a yoga therapist that has worked for many years using yoga postures and natural remedies to heal, Magnesium is always the first supplement I suggest. In a moment, you’ll understand why.

If you think that the amount of Magnesium you obtain from your food is sufficient without supplementation, then I would say thinking is for people who don’t know. Be sure by having it tested. And when you do have it tested, aim to have optimum levels of Magnesium, not just meeting the minimum.

Remember that even organic soils are depleted of minerals. And non-organic farming has virtually no nutrients in it. Furthermore, there are many ways in which Magnesium is lost from the body, e.g. alcohol, coffee, black tea, grains, soy, most pharmaceutical drugs, calcium supplements.

Regular supplementation is a reliable way to boost your magnesium levels. For more information on what kinds of magnesium supplements are well absorbed and utilized, see my website.

Benefits of Magnesium:

1. Better sleep – The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.

2. Relaxes the nervous system – Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on Magnesium.

3. Bigger, stronger muscles – Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles. Furthermore, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the cell’s energy store, and is created with help from Magnesium.

4. Better flexibility – Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.

5. Bone integrity and strength – Magnesium helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people’s mind that the calcium supplements they’re taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.

6. Remineralizes teeth – Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.

7. Alkalizes the body – Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

8. Hydrates – Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.

9. Helps to relieve constipation – Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.

10. Enzyme function – Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.

11. Diabetes – Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without Magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage, including the nerves in the eyes.

There are many other benefits of Magnesium: It helps prevent stroke, heart disease, period pain, and more. You can check out my website for further information on Magnesium and how exactly to increase magnesium levels effectively.

Published July 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

About Marcus Julian Felicetti 

Marcus became a Yoga teacher soon after discovering Yoga at University. His classes are fun and passionate and often intense. They offer students the chance to go deep within and connect with their breath and release their emotions. Marcus communicates his love of yoga through guiding each student with insight and compassion, weaving ancient wisdom with simplicity and an emphasis on the student’s experience. His primary objective is to teach a system of yoga that fully integrates the body, mind and spirit, and channels that energy to its highest potential and

purpose. Marcus continues to grow his own yoga practice everyday while passionate about helping others connect to theirs. He teaches private one-on-one yoga in Sydney.

 

Website: bodhiyoga.net.au

Facebook: Bodhi Yoga

Twitter: @bodhi_yoga

10 Tips for Drinking More Water

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If you are like me, you struggle with adequate water consumption.  I do very well some days, but always seem to fall sort of the recommended 64 ounces.  It’s not that I am drinking soda or fruit juice (Coffee, yes), I just cannot seem to consume that amount of water.  It makes me full.  Our bodies are 70% water and it is important to replace lost fluids to prevent dehydration and a host of other serious ailments.  You can survive without food, but not without water.

I have decided that I have been trying to consume 64 ounces at once, failing, then giving up.  I can consume this amount when hiking with no problem, otherwise it’s an uphill battle.  So, I will try to implement some of the ideas in the article below; another challenge for myself.  Drink the darn water, it’s good for you T!  How much water do you consume daily?

 

10 Tips for Drinking More Water

By Roxy Bargoz

 

I hate to pry, but I have to ask: is your urine clear? If not, chances are, you’re not drinking enough water. We’ve all probably heard plenty about the importance of drinking water. And you might already know about the 8×8 rule of thumb (try to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day – and even more if you’re working up a sweat or drinking alcohol). And while I’ve always bought into this advice, what I’ve struggled with is actually doing it.

 

Here are 10 tips that have helped me win the battle against dehydration:

 

1. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. You’re groggy, your mouth is dry, you need a pick-me-up. Instead of going straight for the coffee (which is my modus operandi, don’t get me wrong),  drink a nice, cold, refreshing glass of water first.

 

 

2. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and/or keep one at your desk at work. If you have a water bottle literally at your finger tips, you might find yourself unconsciously drinking more water throughout the day.

 

 

3. Substitute ice water for soda at lunch (or dinner or any time during the day). Kill two birds with one stone – eliminate that unhealthy soda from your diet and get more water into your system.

 

 

4. When the afternoon snack attack strikes, drink a glass of water instead. You might even find that the water quells your craving.

 

 

5. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before every meal. This is an aspirational practice for me. I find it pretty difficult to remember to do this on a regular basis. But when I do, I notice that I don’t chow down as much when I sit down to eat my meal.

 

 

6. Go one-for-one at happy hour. When you’re enjoying a cocktail or two at happy hour or dinner or poolside, try to drink at least one glass of water (or, even just half a glass) for every alcoholic drink you take down. (It’s a great way to prevent a hangover the next day too).

 

 

7. Drink water with lemon. Let’s face it – water just doesn’t tantalize our taste buds like other drinks do. Try squeezing lemon in your water for a little extra kick. In the interest of full disclosure, this never actually worked for me (see #10 below), but it might work for you.

 

 

8. Make it a challenge. Being the type-A New Yorker that I am, I love to take on a good challenge. So if you’re like me and love a little friendly competition, make a bet with yourself (“Self, I bet you can’t drink 4 glasses of water today”) see if you can beat it. You can start low and gradually increase your target.

 

 

9. Take baby steps. If you’re struggling to drink even one glass of water per day (which is the point at which I started this uphill battle), going straight for the gold on day one might leave you feeling lousy and defeated. So try to gradually increase your water consumption each day. Maybe you set a goal to drink a glass and a half today. Keep this up for, say, 5 days and then add another half a glass to the equation. And so on.

 

 

10. Form a habit. I used to hate drinking water. It just didn’t appeal to me and a couple of drops of lemon juice didn’t really make it any better. But, taking baby step each day, I just forced myself to do it. And slowly but surely, I grew accustomed to it and even began to enjoy it. Now drinking water constantly throughout the day comes second nature to me.

 

 

I wish you the best of luck in your journey towards clearer urine. You might find that integrating just one or two of these practices into your daily routine can make a big difference.

 

 

Cheesecake in a Jar

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I came across this easy and awesome cheesecake recipe.  I love that it is made and served in a jar.  While it isn’t exactly healthy on all fronts, it’s a great treat!  I love the addition of the lemon zest.  I would also add shredded coconut because I am a coconut fanatic and substitute the sugar with coconut sugar!  Enjoy!

Post image for Virtual Picnic- Cheesecake in a Jar

Cheesecake in a Jar

YIELD: 4-6 servings depending on size of jars used

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
2 packages cream cheese, 8 oz each; room temperature
2 large eggs; room temperature
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh berries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, combine the sugar and lemon zest and mix until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.

4. Pour batter into canning jars until about ¾ of the way full. Place jars into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the sides of the jars.

5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have a little jiggle to it.

6. Carefully remove the cheesecake jars from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cheesecakes are completely cooled, place them into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Top will fresh berries and serve.

NOTES:

– For glossy berries, simply add 1 tablespoon of hot water to ¼ cup apricot preserves. Blend until combined and thinned out. Place the berries in a bowl and gently brush and toss the berries with the apricot and water mixture.
– If you are not a fan of lemon, simply omit the zest.
– If you are missing the graham cracker crust, serve with graham sticks.
– The jars pictured above are Weck (7.4 ounce) Tulip Jars.

 

http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/cheesecake-in-a-jar-recipe/

Kale and White Bean Soup…

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This is a healthy and delicious soup recipe from The Nourished Kitchen.  Clean eating at its best…

kale and white bean soup
Kale and white bean soup, hearty and simple, works its way onto our supper table a few times each season.  It’s a favorite soup: rich with flavor, inexpensive to prepare with enough bulk to fill hungry bellies.

In the summer time, I serve it with a crusty slice of no-knead sourdough bread topped by garlic scape pesto or chopped tomatoes and olive oil and a glass of white wine.  In the winter, I pair it with savory pumpkin muffins and a mug of hot herbal tea with cream and honey.

Like many dishes, kale and white bean soup offers a lesson in patience – in delayed gratification.  It’s not a food that offers immediacy; rather, I soak white beans in hot water and a pinch of baking soda over the course of day, cook them gently and then prepare the soup.  In this way, the beans are soft and tender.  This long and slow method also removes offending antinutrients found in beans that can create gas, or prevent you from best absorbing the trace minerals they contain.

kale and white bean soup

benefits of bone broth

A real broth adds not only flavor as the base of soups and stews, but it also provides much needed nourishment, too.  A good bone broth is rich in minerals that support your bones, teeth and organs.  It is also a good source of amino acids and proteins like gelatin which can boost skin and hair health and support digestive system function which is why bone broth is a critical component of the GAPS diet – a diet designed to heal the gut and optimize systemic wellness.

When we prepare Kale and White Bean Soup, I typically rely on bone broth simmered away in a slow cooker or fresh chicken broth.

Kale for soup

Kale, the darling of health food circles, is a good source of antioxidants including beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) as well as vitamin C.  It is also rich in manganese and copper.  Kale, like many vegetables, is easier to digest when cooked; however, many of its vitamins are heat-sensitive and so subject to deactivation during prolonged cooking.

For this reason, I recommend adding the kale to the soup at the very end of cooking, covering the pot of kale and white bean soup, and allowing the kale to wilt in the residual heat of the soup.  This practice helps to make the kale easier to digest while still preserving most of its vitamin content.

White Beans for soup

This recipe calls for cannellini beans, a white bean popular in Italian cooking.  You can find cannellini beans at any well-stocked health food store, and you can also purchase them in bulk online.  Among beans, cannellini are typically more expensive (but just by a touch), and you can substitute any white bean, such as Great Northern or Navy beans, for them in this kale and white bean soup recipe.

White beans are a good source of folate, a nutrient critical for women of reproductive age, as well as thiamin – a vitamin that helps your body to convert carbohydrates to energy while also supporting cognitive function, nerve and heart health, as well as emotional well-being.

Beans, like all pulses, nuts and grains, benefit from soaking overnight in warm water and prolonged, gentle cooking.  This enhances the availability of their nutrients while also improving both flavor and texture.

where to find piment d’esplette

This kale and white bean soup also calls for a special pepper – piment d’Esplette – which offers a sweet, almost floral note.  It’s not hot, but complex.  You can find it online or substitute paprika.

Kale and White Bean soup

YIELD: 2 1/2 quarts (6 to 8 Servings)

  • kale and white bean soup
  • PREP: 5 mins
  • COOK: 2 hrs 0 min
  • READY IN: 26 hrs 5 mins

Kale and White Bean Soup, perfumed by rosemary and bay, is a staple on my kitchen table. It’s simple fare for hungry families. Save time by preparing the white beans in advance and stirring them into the kale and white bean soup at the last minute.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white beans (such as cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 4 ounces bacon (chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 ribs celery (finely chopped)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 branch rosemary
  • rind of a hunk of parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon piment d’Esplette (or paprika)
  • 1 bunch kale (trimmed of tough stems and sliced thin)
  • extra virgin olive oil (to serve)

Instructions

  1. Toss the beans in a large mixing bowl, cover with hot water by 2 inches and stir in baking soda. Soak for 18 to 24 hours, changing the water once or twice. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Transfer the soaked beans into a large stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until beans are tender – about 1 1/2 hours. Drain.
  3. Melt butter in a large stock pot until it froths. Stir in bacon and cook until crispy. Stir in onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir frequently, and fry until fragrant – about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in chicken stock, add rosemary, bay and the rind of a piece of parmesan cheese. Simmer over medium heat, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in piment d’Esplette and kale. Cover and allow the kale to wilt in the residual heat of the soup for about 5 minutes. Salt as needed and serve with extra virgin olive oil.