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Yoga and Water

Today is only day three of my yoga self challenge, but I can honestly say it has already been helping me open up the physical and mental binds that have been blocking my potential and limiting my life. I have actually been experiencing forms of detoxification as I am moving my body in ways that I have not done in months. Between the twisting, the bending, the sweating, and the breathing, my internal organs are being massaged bringing more oxygen to the body, circulating blood to undernourished areas, and ultimately improving lymphatic flow. Its really a magical feeling!

Practicing yoga has many benefits for everyone:

  • Powerful therapeutic tool for correcting physical and psychological problems
  • Plays a powerful role in detoxification and elimination
  • Retards aging and keeps you opened sexually
  • Gives you strength and flexibility for other physical activities
  • Can enhance your looks, posture, skin and muscle tone, and vitality
  • Can give your life a sense of grace and overall well-being

Amazing. I love yoga. In fact I forgot how much I love yoga. I am so excited for what is to come!

I have been trying to drink lots of water this time of year, because water is, Amazing! It is truly natures ultimate healer!
Without the use of drugs, many people have reported healing themselves by simply drinking pure water. Dr. F. Batmanghelidj (try to say that name 10 times fast) says in his book, Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty! The many benefits of water extend to every system of the body.
Mental and Emotional Wellness. Hydration helps relieve depression by replenishing the neurotransmitter serotonin. The brain, comprised of 85% water, requires more water to imprint new information. So the next time you forget something, drink a glass or two of water! As water helps with memory, focus and concentration as well as reduces symptoms of ADD & ADHD. The production of melatonin, the body’s sleep regulator, requires hydration; water consumption helps promote regular, healthy, restful sleep. In addition, water increases our energy levels by generating electromagnetic charge in our cells.
Anti-Aging. Water helps flush the waste from our body systm. It helps detoxify the liver and the kidneys, cleanse the bloodstream, facilitate good digestive function, promote lymphatic wellness, and regulate the body’s pH balance. These processes combined help resist early aging and keep the body looking and feeling young!
Healthy Skin. The skin needs moisture to perspire a way in which the body releases toxins through the skin. If the skin is experiencing dehydration, it holds onto what water it has left, halting the essential process of perspiration. This dries and withers the skin, leading to wrinkles and other signs of early aging.
As if anti-aging and great skin were not enough we also have more reasons to drink the magical liquid called water:

Pain Relief. Dehydration can cause exacerbate back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and other joint pain. Hydration lubricates the cartilage that cushions joints and the tendons and ligaments that hold them together, making for greater mobility, flexibility and comfort. This should com in handy as I am twisting my body into ways I have not done in months!
Protection from dis-ease. Even a 1% decrease in the hydration of the brain can damage blood vessels and cause plaque and bleeding, which is responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. By normalizing the blood, water can help treat and prevent leukemia, lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
Cardiovascular Wellness. Water is needed to regulate body temperature and blood circulation, so the next time you are cold, make sure you are drinking enough of that delicious H2O! Water in the bloodstream helps carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Hydration keeps blood vessels clean and clear, helping to lower cholesterol. High blood pressure is lowered when the body is properly hydrated.  This in turn reduces the risk of heart dis-ease and stroke.
 Weight Loss. Water is necessary for the proper functioning of our metabolism, which is the process by which the body breaks down proteins and carbohydrates into energy.  If our body utilize the proteins and carbohydrates fast enough into energy, they get stored as fat. Even people who may be overweight and retaining liquid may benefit from drinking more water, as our body, like a camels has the ability to store water when dehydrated as a survival mechanism for use at a later date. Water is also important for healthy digestion, as it circulates enzymes through food and helps nutrients absorb into the blood stream. When the body is properly hydrated it reduces appetite because we are more nourished with food and water circulating through the body. The National Institute of Health advises parents of overweight children to replace sodas and other sweet drinks in their child’s diet with water.

Water and salt prevent and helps to cure asthma. Asthma, which also affects 14 million children and kills several thousand of them every year, is a complication of dehydration in the body. It is caused by the drought management programs of the body. In asthma free passage of air is obstructed so that water does not leave the body in the form of vapor – the winter steam. Increased water intake will prevent asthma attacks. Asthmatics need also to take more salt to break the mucus plugs in the lungs that obstruct the free flow of air in and out of the air sacs.
Not recognizing asthma as the indicator of dehydration in the body of a growing child not only will sentence many thousands of children to die every year, but will permit irreversible genetic damage to establish in the remaining 14 million asthmatic children.

How much water should I be drinking? Since water is the principal chemical component of the body, comprising of about 70% of our body’s weight. It is important that we are all individually unique and require different amounts. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body’s weight in ounces of water everyday. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would drink 75 ounces of water a day.

Note: Tea, juice and milk and other drinks are NOT substitutes for water!!

Here is what Andreas Moritz says about water: Body Drought

Here is David Wolfe seeking out spring water: Avocado’s Spring Water World
Yesterday I was able to practice yoga for 20 minutes and walk for 50 minutes. The journey is just getting started but I am already experiencing a heightened awareness of my body.

I will check in every few days to let you know how my personal challenge is going.

Much Love,
Michelle
Process transforms any journey into a series of small steps, taken one by one, to reach any goal. Process transcends time, teaches patience, rests on a solid foundation of careful preparation, and embodies trust in our unfolding potential. ~Dan Millman
Boost Energy, Healthy Body, Immune Boosters, Inspiring Quotes, Weight Loss

Yoga and Beauty Sleep

My exercise program has been completely non-existant since my accident in September. Its really embarrassing to say that even before the accident I wasn’t exactly working out on a regular basis. That being said, I have to take better care of my body because exercise oxygenates our body and this in turn helps brighten our cells bringing more charisma and color to our complexion.

Even though there are many forms of exercise, yoga is the one I am choosing to focus on because it is balancing. Yoga effectively works to stretch and strengthen our muscles. And since yoga is more beneficial when done consistently, I am challenging myself to do yoga every day until the end of 2012. A couple times a week I will try to document my experience of practicing yoga every day.

Though diet and exercise are critical components of healthy lifestyles, it’s also important to remember that sleep is inherently linked with how we eat (and how much), how we exercise (and whether or not we lose weight), and how we function on a daily basis. Sleep is the time when our body relaxes and repairs itself, rejuvenating our skin and connective tissues and getting the proper amount of sleep each night is necessary to face the world with my best foot forward! I am going to do is make sure I get enough beauty sleep! And for the most part a great sleeper, when my head hits the pillow, Im out like a light and I am usually up by 6:30 to 7 the next day. But lately, this has not been the case, I have been up at all hours of the night, restless and achy, I can feel how poor the circulation is in my legs and lower back. Im not sure if its stress or what, but my body is having a hard time sleeping! It is my goal to get back on a routine of exercise and beauty sleep so that I can be a more happier and healthier individual.

Here is the story: Monday night I didn’t sleep well. I went to be late and then proceeded to lay in bed for an hour, only to get back up and have some tea. I read from the book A Course in Miracles, and finally hit the pillow at 2am! Only to wake back up at 6:30am to get the girls to school. A girl needs her beauty sleep and let me tell you, a girl does not feel beautiful when she is groggy from lack f sleep!

So yesterday, I started out with a yoga Sunrise Flow for Energy. It lasted 25 minutes. Although it was short, it was a dynamic yoga practice that helped me to wake up and open my heart first thing in the morning! What a way to revitalize from my night of hardly sleeping!

Next I wrote in my journal, meditated and took a nap for about an hour.

Later in the day I took a 30 minute walk and did my mom duties driving my girls around to various activities.

Tomorrow is another day….. I’ll let you know how my yoga and sleep goes! 🙂

A yogi is not so much interested in finding the Fountain of Youth as he/she is in continuing the Spirit of Youth to the very end. There is nothing that will fill the human heart with more cheer than the practice of Yoga. ~Theos Bernard, Yoga Gave Me Superior Health

Have a wonderful day taking little steps to transform yourself!

Love,

Michelle

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Raw Cacao Brownies

This is for all of my choc-o-holic friends. This is devilishly chocolaty and filled with amazing nutrients and high in anti-oxidants! Chocolate is super good for you!

Research and published studies show that chocolate can:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Enhance your immune system
  • Fend off diabetes
  • Fight cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhance blood flow
  • Fight fat
  • Improve cognitive health
  • Slow aging
  • Enhance physical energy, stamina and vitality
  • Act as a safe and effective aphrodisiac

How can raw cacao do all of these marvelous things for us? Its easy, raw cacao is rich in iron, which assists in the process of respiration as it carries oxygen throughout the body. This helps with circulation, lowering the instances of heart disease, enhancing blood flow, which in turn improves cognitive health, physical energy and helps with stamina and vitality. An iron deficiency creates a low level of oxygen in the blood. This results in people feeling light-headed, tired, weak and interestingly enough an intolerance to cold which is a sign of poor blood flow.

Another great benefit to raw cacao is manganese, it  plays an important role in the formation of cartilage, bone and connective tissue. This ability to form and rebuild tissue helps slow the aging process. Awesome!

Raw Cacao Brownies:

Base:

1-3/4 cups almonds (ground to a flour in food processor)

1 cup raw cacao

1/2+ cup maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

8 drops (not droppers) of Chocolate Stevia for extra sweetness.

Dash of Himalayan salt to taste

Coconut oil (for bottom of brownie pan)

Frosting: 

2 avocados

1/2 cup maple syrup or agave or raw honey

1/2 cup raw cacao

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Prepare Frosting:  Blend ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy (if you need to add a little more maple syrup or water to get a smooth consistency).

To Prepare Brownie Base: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until ingredients start to stick together. You may need to add a little water or a little more almond flour to get the right consistency.

In your 6 x 6 brownie pan, spread coconut oil on the bottom and on the sides to prevent brownies from sticking.

Take brownie “batter” and press it into your pan.

Once you have your brownies pressed nicely into the pan, spread your delicious frosting on top, sprinkle a some coconut flakes on top and serve! This is so delicious by itself you you may have a cup of chai tea with it or even add fresh raspberries or figs.

These brownies are so delicious even your non-vegan friends will love them!

Love, peace and bliss,

Michelle

Recipes

PomTini

The word pomegranate means “many-grained apple”.
Eat the pomegranate, for it purges the system of hatred and envy. –Muhammad
 
This drink is a real crowd pleaser!

  • PomTini
  • Makes 2-3 servings
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate , or cranberry juice, strained (fresh juice will produce a cloudier drink than bottled)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 cup dry organic white wine, or sparkling wine
  • ½ cup dry sake
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed is the best!
Combine ingredients and shake with ice in a martini shaker, strain and serve in martini glasses. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig (remove lower needles and skewer fruit of choice).

Pomegranates promote the production of red blood cells; expel tapeworms; strengthen the bladder (especially for the elderly) and the gums; and soothe ulcers in the mouth and throat. The peel is used as a home remedy for treating chronic dysentery. A kitchen remedy for burning eyes is to place a drop of pomegranate juice in each eye before sleeping.
Pomegranates reduce pitta and kapha.
We have so much to be thankful for! My girls and I are spending the weekend in Bigfork, MT because they are dancing in the Northwest Ballet Companies annual Nutcracker Ballet. It is sure to be a magical weekend for all! Hope to see you there!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love you all!
Michelle
Anti-Inflammatory, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Health, Recipes, Uncategorized

White Balsamic – Pear Dressing

Here is a great salad dressing recipe for the holidays…..
The gentle, smooth and well-balanced flavor of the white balsamic vinegar is perfect to be used with the light sweetness of the pear.

In ancient Greece, pears were used to treat nausea.

Today, pears can be useful in treating inflammation and lowering high blood pressure.

Pears are a good source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C.
White Balsamic-Pear Dressing
1/2 Pear — seeds removed — skin left on
1/2 cup white balsamic dressing
1/3 cup Hemp oil or Flax oil (or any oil that can go into the fridge without hardening)
1/4 cup organic apple juice
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sole or a dash himalayan or celtic salt to taste
Blend together and enjoy on to of your favorite bed of greens! I like to add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for some extra warmth.
Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible.
~Cherie-Carter Scotts
Have a beautiful day!
Love,
Michelle
Anti-Cancer, Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant Power, Cardiovascular Health, Cleansing & Detoxification, Eye Health, Heart Health, Immune Boosters, Recipes, Skin Support, Weight Loss

Super Delicious Broccoli Salad

Wow. Its that time of year when we are getting ready for Thanksgiving and other holiday festivities in which we come together and share food!
Being that my youngest daughter and I are the only veg-heads in the family, the side dishes are our favorite part of the meal and this recipe is a great addition! Hearty and delicious!

Delicious Broccoli Salad:

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite sized chuncks
  • 1 handful almonds
  • 1 cup scallions, or green onions
  • ¾ cup raisins, currants or olives
  • DRESSING BLEND:
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • ½ whole jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons oil, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon agave, to taste
Cut and toss body ingredients into a bowl.

Blend dressing ingredients in a blender, add to body ingredients, massage together and enjoy!

Broccoli is cooling in nature, and helps reduce eye inflammation. It is slightly diuretic in action. Broccoli reduces pitta and kapha. Broccoli contains twice the vitamin C as an orange, and almost as much calcium as whole milk-and its calcium is better absorbed by our bodies. Broccoli contains selenium, is a modest source of vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, and has value as an antioxidant.
(The leafy greens–not the blossoms–offer the most nutrients)
Interestingly enough, raw broccoli and broccoli sprouts offer the highest amount of support to people with stomach problems. This is because many stomach problems have been linked in research studies with overgrowth of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, and also with excessive attachment of this bacterium to the inner stomach lining. Raw broccoli and broccoli sprouts provide special stomach support with respect to these unwanted overgrowth and over-attachment circumstances. Since half of our immune system is in our digestive tract, broccoli is a great immune system booster!
Broccoli is also concentrated in phytonutrients. In one particular phytonutrient category—glucosinolates—broccoli is simply outstanding. The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from broccoli’s glucosinolates are the key to broccoli’s cancer-preventive benefits.
Yumm.
Noah and I also served this salad at our wedding, everyone loved it!
Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!
Pray for snow!
xoxoxox
Michelle
Sources:
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Chocolate Avocado Mousse

This is the perfect chocolate mousse!
The avocado is a versatile food that is used in a variety of raw dishes– like gazpacho and other cold soups, fruit salads, dips, desserts, and even ice cream! Avocados are a healthful substitute for sour cream or cream cheese in dressings, dips and spreads. But today we are going to explore chocolate mousse!
Avocados are amazing!
  • Promote heart health
  • Wide-range of anti-inflammatory benefits (including reducing & preventing arthritis)
  • Optimized absorption of carotenoids (fat soluble phytonutrients)
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Promotes blood sugar regulation
  • Balances hormones

Many varieties of this native American plant are grown, but there are basically two different skin types: a smooth, green-skinned variety that remains green when ripe–this is known as the Fuerte and it is available in the fall and winter; and Hass, a dark, rough-skinned variety that blackens as it ripens is available in the summer.
Select avocados that are fairly heavy for their size and free of irregularities. When the fruit yields to gentle finger pressure, it is ripe. Store at room temperature until ripened, then refrigerate.
  • The Perfect Chocolate Mousse
  • ½ cup dates, pitted, soft
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter, (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons non-alcohol vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups avocado, mashed (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup raw carob powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Directions:
  • Soak the dates in 1/2 cup fresh water for 5-10 minutes to soften. Drain soak water and set aside. In a food processor, blend dates, maple syrup, coconut butter (if desired), and vanilla until smooth. Spoon in avocado and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of date soak water if necessary to aid in blending. Spoon in carob and cocoa powder and blend until smooth.
    Spoon mousse into parfait or wineglasses. Keeps fresh for several days.
    You may also choose to freeze for a decadent ice cream! Yumm!

Eighty-eight percent of an avocado’s calories come from fat–primarily monosaturated fat–which makes avocados an excellent food for people wishing for the nourishment and the building of blood and yin. Because they are an excellent source of fat for people who have difficulty assimilating other fatty foods they are also a good source of protein, potassium, and vitamin E. They also reduce vata, which is perfect for this time of year!
And there you have it!
xoxox,
Michelle
Inspiring Quotes, Meditation

Believe you can, and you can.

Although it is disappointing that California did not pass prop 37 as well as how some of our local elections turned out both with candidates and propositions that were voted on. I found it interesting throughout the election process that it was not so much about the candidates but how we see choose to see them. I think that many people give too much power to elected officials. There is no way that an official can make everyone happy and make the right decision for everyone as we are all unique individuals in unique situations. Today is a good day to look inside of ourselves and take responsibility for our own well-being and not count on others for our individual happiness & content, wealth and worth. Letting go of negative thoughts will help us to clear the air to make better decisions in our daily life and be happier more productive people.

Believe you can, and you can. Belief is one of the most powerful of problem dissolvers. When you believe that a difficulty can be overcome, you are more than halfway to victory over it already. ~Norman Vincent Peale

We create our own reality and meditation is key in helping us to deepen and understand the sacred and mystical forces of life. As we meditate we clear away the information overload that we have burdened ourselves with. As we clear away this burden we start to gain new perspectives on stressful situations and how to manage our stress. This is because meditation helps increase our self-awareness by focusing on the present and reducing negative emotions. Including those emotions and thoughts that have to do with this weeks electoral process.

For those of you who are new to meditation, the Chopra Center periodically has free guided Meditation Challenges. They also have available Meditations you can do at anytime!

Peace and love,

Michelle