As we reopen to the outside world, lets remember to sleep.
This month I have been focusing on building strong immunity, sleep is the pillar of good health and strong immunity. Its at night, from 10pm-2am, that our organs get a chance to repair, metabolize waste and rejuvenate. However with stimulating technology and to-do lists on our minds it can be easy to get a second wind at 10pm, and then later finding it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake feeling rejuvenated. Nothing depletes us more than being in a cycle of turning the midnight oil.
To honor your immunity, I strongly recommend creating nighttime rituals that support your transitions from activity to rest. Guided Meditations or relaxing music are a great way to deregulate the nervous system to a more relaxed place. Breathing practices like Nadi Shodhana can be soothing for a busy mind. Another thing you can do is try to use binaural beats to get your brain waves to a certain state.
If your having trouble falling asleep, wear blue blocker glasses in the evening and try turning all screens off by 9pm, dim your lights, sip Golden Milk or Cardamom & Saffron Sleep Tonic before bed. Use tranquil mind essential oils. Transition with an evening meditation and quiet music. Here is a cello, base and singing bowl meditation my husband and I made with a friend of ours.
If your having trouble staying asleep, try taking a hot bath and massage warm oil onto your feet before bed. Grounding heart centered prayers and intentions before or upon awakening at night help.
If your having trouble waking up, a grounding gratitude practice, where you are thankful to Mother Earth for supporting you and creating the beauty all around you before you ever get out of bed. Try waking before the sun and start the morning with mindful movement, Sun Salutations and breathing practices to wake up your mind and body.
Finally, its good to keep in mind to limit your EMF exposure, especially at night. To do this you can simply turn off your in home WiFi, don’t sleep near your phone, if you do, put a piece of shungite stone between you and the phone. You may also want to consider painting your room with EMF blocking paint or purchasing a Lumerian Plug or a Tachyon Disk.
Cardamom and Saffron Sleep Tonic
This Ayurvedic tonic recipe is both a remedy for better sleep and building overall vitality. The combination of soaked almonds, ghee, sweet dates and raw honey are considered to be rasayanas ~~ foods that nourish and build vitality.
This recipe uses ashwagandha, a unique adaptogenic herb that enables the body to reserve and sustain vital energy throughout the day while aiding restful sleep at night. It is considered one of the best herbs for supporting the nervous system, which can often cause difficulties staying asleep at night. Saffron is also a potent medicinal spice with many benefits from supporting the reproductive organs to relaxing the nerves. Make this drink after dinner to satisfy a sweet tooth and to help you wind down after a long day and prepare for a restful night sleep.
2 cups fresh almond milk (or organic milk of choice)
1-2 pitted dates
1 TBSP Ghee
1 TBSP raw honey
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2-3 threads saffron or pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp ashwagandha powder
This soup is nourishing and detoxifying, and when eaten regularly can help replenish nutrient deficiencies, boost immunity and restore vitality. Its delicious and you can use different greens to vary the nutrients and the taste!
1 Tablespoon Ghee or Olive Oil
2 Cups Blessed water or Tea (Astragalus, Pau d’Arco, Echinacea, Nettle, Chamomile)
1 teaspoon Masala
1 teaspoon Pink Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/8 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 Cup Crumbled Fresh Soft Cheese (dairy or non-dairy) ~or~ you could use 1/2 cup soaked Cashews or 1/2 cup cooked lentils instead
1 Pound Leafy Greens such as Chard, Beet Greens, Collards, Spinach, Arugula, Kale &/or Sprouts.
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley or Cilantro
Garnish with Fresh Lime Juice
In a medium saucepan add oil and spices, simmer and add 2 cups blessed water or tea and cheese. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. While cheese is cooking, prepare your greens: wash, stem and tear them so they blend well ~ this should yield about 8 packed cups or so. Gradually add the greens and parsley, turning them over until they wilt but still remain their vibrant color (about 3-5 minutes). Turn off heat and leave soup uncovered to cool down a bit before transferring to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Reheat to desired warmth.
Garnish with lime and serve hot.
*Adapted from the book What To Eat For How You Feel by Divya Alter
Enjoy! Many Blessings!
Thought of the moment:
Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity to change ourselves. ~Eknath Easwaran
Some of my friends from the Tree of Life started posting about celery juice and specifically the celery juice challenge. Being a seasoned juicer I know and understand how valuable celery juice is and I use it as a base for my green juices.
I honestly thought that because added it to my green juice it would have the same healing effects blended as it does on its own. After joining the #celeryjuicechallenge inspired by my friend and by Anthony Williams’ glowing praise of celery juice, I decided to give the “powerhouse of a drink” a shot. I was baffled by how powerful it is.
- Simply Juice 1 bunch organic celery
- Drink the undiluted juice right away and wait at least 15 minutes before consuming anything else.
Pure celery juice contains bio-available cluster salts and claims to be blissfully healing:
LIVER DETOXIFICATION: Celery’s detoxifying properties work to remove bad bacteria, fungi, mold, viruses and other toxins from the liver; the phytonutrients found in the green stalks also can have a protective effect.
NERVOUS SYSTEM SUPPORT: Celery is a powerhouse for supporting the nervous system. It has a calming effect on the nervous system because of its detoxify properties. It also provides support through its ability to act as a blood purifier.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Celery contains luteolin, a potent flavonoid, that can act as an antioxidant and inflammation.
THYROID CLEANSING: According to Medical Medium, Anthony William, the mineral salts in celery may help to fight and cleanse the body of the Epstein-Barr virus, particularly in the thyroid. Celery can also help to boost production of important thyroid hormones in those with hypothyroidism.
HEART HEALTHY: Studies have shown that celery extract consumption can help to prevent stroke, lower blood pressure, and reduce plaque in arteries.
- High-speed blender
- Nut-milk bag
- Large bowl
- Wash and roughly chop the head of celery into rough chunks.
- Add to a blender along with a splash of water (to help the blades spin).
- Blend for a few seconds until broken down.
- Pour into a large bowl through a nut-milk bag.
- Squeeze through the juice, and compost the remaining fiber in the nut-milk bag. Drink immediately for the most nutritional benefits.
I challenge you to try it, starting immediately for the rest of December! Let me know your experience!
May you all be blessed with the wonder of life during this time of year!
Cleansing has to be experienced to be believed. Its amazing how either a mono diet of kitchari or a juice fast can help with energy, weight loss, detoxification, better sleep, prevent disease and actually create more connection in our lives. When you feel great, you naturally strengthen your own sense of inner peace and openness, this in turn will deepen the intimacy and connection within.
1. You get rid of omnipresent toxins
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the truth is that you are constantly surrounded by toxins and pollutants. There is pollution in the air that we breathe, in the products we use to clean our homes and bodies, in the food that we consume, and even in our homes. You can definitely work on reducing your exposure to toxins but you can not really escape them (even your own body produces metabolic toxins). Hence why a seasonal detox/ cleanse is an excellent way to help your body get rid of some of these absorbed toxins.
2. You give your digestive system a much-needed break
Most cleanses and detoxes are based on avoiding junk foods and allergens. This helps balance blood sugar, reduce cravings and you also feel the benefits in your digestive tract. Problems such as gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, and irritation can all be reduced (if not completely eliminated) via a cleanse. Indeed, during a detox, there is less of a burden on your digestive system and you allow your body to get busy with other important biochemical processes, such as detoxification and rejuvenation.
3. You get more energy & a better sleep
Nutrition and most particularly the kinds of foods that you choose to eat will greatly influence your energy levels throughout the day and sleep at night. The heavier you eat and the more sugary foods you consume, the more likely you are to experience severe mid-afternoon crashes and/or poor sleep. That’s because these kinds of foods are very taxing on your digestive system and require a lot of “work” to be processed by your body.
Removing sugar-loaded foods and most common food allergens (i.e. gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar) from your diet for a period of time can go a long way in terms of giving you more energy and definitely better sleep. Test it out.
4. You experience a new sense of clarity
For many people, food and emotions go hand in hand. We eat when we want to celebrate, when we are depressed, bored, scared, … Emotional eating is a real issue and one great way to break through it is to try a cleanse. Through the removal of your favourite “comfort” foods, you learn to make healthier eating choices and you find new ways to cope with your emotions (e.g. daily movement, a new hobby, or socializing).
Moreover, the kinds of foods that we crave when we are emotional (sugary, salty, and usually fatty too) are known to make our minds foggy and unclear. Once you go through a cleanse, you start to see things in a different light – the fog lifts up and you get a new sense of clarity. How refreshing is that?!
5. You access a new level of creativity
When you go through a cleanse, you are forced out of your comfort zone. It can be annoying and uncomfortable at first but then when you push through, you reach a new level of creativity. You start thinking of different ways to prepare your foods. And you inevitably try new recipes – better yet you may even create your own! Creativity will not just stop in the kitchen, it will also expand to other areas of your life. Again, give it a try and see for yourself.
I strongly suggest you cleanse at least twice this year. It could be a 7 day juice cleanse, a 5 day kitchari cleanse, a week without dairy & gluten, or even something as simple as 21 days without sugar. There are many combinations out there. Once you have done your research and have been advised by a health care practitioner or nutritionist, I am positive that you, too, will be convinced that doing a cleanse is good for you.
The other day I was asked about weight loss, I really didn’t know what to say. Honest. Society has positioned many people to believe that we can just magically lose weight by taking a pill or doing the right exercise routine rather than living a lifestyle of loving your body and eating and living well. Living your life in a way that gently, and continuously, and most importantly, healthfully supports your body’s natural detoxification pathways is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. If your Body just contracted a little bit by the word detox I am not referring to restricting, starvation or hunger. In fact, I am talking about the opposite. I am talking about how you can invite simple little acts of love into your life that healthily supports your body’s natural detoxification process. Our bodies are constantly in detox mode. It’s just one of those amazing ingenious internal processes like digestion, metabolism, reproduction, respiration, etc., our bodies just do for us. We don’t even have to think about it. However, because of the constant influx of 21st century toxins, chemicals, and chronic stressors — think: processed foods, environmental pollution, depleted soil, negative self-deprecating thoughts, staring at the computer for 10 hours, late nights, job-stress, energy drinks, I could keep going… — our detoxification pathways are constantly working overdrive. Here are 9 ways you can nourish every cell in your being, and glow from the inside out, for daily detoxification and total body vibrancy.
- Water. Proper hydration is the foundation for a healthy body and detoxification. When the body needs more liquids to flush out toxins, and there are insufficient amounts in the reserves, it will draw water from the bones, muscles and the of course the brain. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water everyday helps flush out unwanted toxins from your body, prevents constipation, fatigue, acne and skin issues. It’s best not to drink water while you eat as it dilutes your digestive enzymes. Drink water 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after a meal. Give yourself a huge helping hand through a rough day and get on the good stuff: clean water.
- Move. They say exercise is good. Do it 3 to 4 Times a week. Also, more importantly, walk 20 minutes everyday. You wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth, don’t go a day with out walking for 20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be continuous it just has to be done. Your body, mind and soul will love it too.
- Eat a rainbow of colors. 8 out of 10 Americans are not getting the phytonutrients they need. Green fruits and vegetables in particular help detox the body and in particular, dark green leafy vegetables because they are simply more nutrient dense than any other food group. They purify the blood, boost the immune system, promote a strong nervous system to restore energy and vitality, support eye health, cleanse your skin, repair DNA, assist in liver detoxification (especially cilantro and dandelion), improve bowel function, reduce acid indigestion, prevent anemia, and act as digestive magic. Make sure to rotate between your greens, kale is not your only option, there is, purslane, watercress, spinach, arugula, micro greens, mustard greens, radicchio, escarole, and dandelion, I could go on………. Green juice or smoothie anyone?
- Unfiltered Raw apple cider vinegar stimulates circulation and aids in detoxification of the liver and lymph nodes. It also contains live probiotics which promote healthy microflora (bacteria) in the gut. When taken regularly, apple cider vinegar helps with gastrointestinal discomfort, indigestion, and can help clear up chronic acid reflux. ACV may also aid in weight loss by stabilizing the blood sugar for a longer period and helping to control appetite. You may also add nutrients to the ACV, I like to make a four thieves vinegar or you can make traditional Fire Cider! Take 1-2 Tablespoons of raw ACV before each meal as a shot or as a dressing on salads and stir fry’s with your dark leafy greens!
- Cultured or fermented foods are imperative for our gut health and for a healthy body, clear mind, and total high-vibe health. Cultured foods help us absorb our nutrients. Consuming cultured or fermented foods on a daily basis re-establishes a healthy inner ecosystem and dramatically improves digestion and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, and coconut or flax kefir are loaded with digestive enzymes and gut balancing probiotics! Pro- meaning for and biotic- meaning life.
- Lemon is a great alkalizer! Despite their acidic taste, lemons have an alkalizing effect on our internal pH levels making them ideal for cleansing and detoxification. Lemon juice also stimulates the release of bile and digestive enzymes, purifies the liver, hydrates the lymph, and is a natural diuretic. Notoriously high in Vitamin C, one of nature’s key water soluble antioxidants, lemons help neutralize free radicals and therefore protect our cells from damage. Warning: drinking warm water with lemon in the mornings (before or, in place of your am coffee) will change your life. Brush your teeth after! If lemon is not your thing, try Coral Legend by Premier Research Labs available in my shop!
- Detox teas and tinctures from amazing plants create insane alchemy on the body and promote detoxification. It’s the little pleasures. Look for teas and or tinctures with dandelion root, ginger root, licorice root, burdock, or rose petals as they gently nourish your detoxification organs. In addition to your water, drink throughout the day!
- Emotional detox. Emotional health is biochemically linked to our physical body. Meaning, what we think and feel has the power to change the biology of our cells. Thoughts and emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration, fear, anxiety, jealousy, low self esteem you hold within maybe an even greater cause of stress, an imbalance in the system and eventually chronic dis-ease. Where do the actual toxic thoughts go? Hopefully not projected on the lovely people we share our lives with. Good old pen and paper really get the job done. Bitch it out, whine it out, sulk it out and just go on and on about it until you just can’t think of anything else negative to say. Then burn those pages up. Why? Because fire represents the alchemy of transformation and, it feels good to let it burn! Setting a little (safe) fire to can be joyously symbolic of your desire to release these negative emotions into ashes. Literally, burn that shit up.
- Screen detox. Start and end your day free of screens for at least the first hour of your day and the last hour of your day. Turning off your screen the first hour of the day will help you to listen to your internal clock and respond better to your internal clock versus responding to outside stimuli. The light coming from the screen delays your body’s natural release of melatonin, which is responsible for telling your body it’s time to sleep. Turning off screens an hour before bed help you sleep better. Also, no screens while eating. Be present with yourself. Taste your food! Enjoy life’s little treasures!
Each day this week invite one of these daily detox ideas into your life. The more consistent you are the sooner you will be able to see and feel results! What’s your favorite way to detox?
The protein myth is real. Growing up I thought that eating animals was how to get enough protein in my diet for optimum health. There are now thousands of scientific studies and doctors that dispel they myth and confirm that plant based protein is abundant, powerful and nourishing.
“If you eat a variety of whole foods of plant origin (vegetables, legumes, 100 percent whole grains and fruits) and not refined food-like products, it is very unlikely that you could be deficient in protein intake, even if your needs are higher (after major surgery, for example). In other words, if you get enough whole plant foods everyday, you get enough protein. The more protein—especially animal protein—one eats, the higher the risk of different chronic diseases. For example, in a recent study of more than 6,000 people in the best nationally representative dietary survey in the United States, those between 50 and 65 years old who reported high protein intake had a 75 percent increase in dying from any cause, a four-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years, and a five-fold increase in death from diabetes. Those with moderate intake had increased cancer death risk three-fold when compared with the low protein intake group! It is important to note that these associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. The composition of amino acids, building blocks of protein, derived from animals is different than from plant proteins. What we need are amino acids, not the proteins themselves. As for the amount of protein we eat, it is not practical or very accurate to measure that on a daily basis. 0.8 g/kg is generous. According to the World Health Organization, 0.5 g/kg is adequate for good health. Make sure you get enough calories from unprocessed whole foods of plant origin and you will get more than enough protein.” ~ Dr Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic
That is a powerful statement! There are so many amazing benefits that come with eating plants, like lots of important fiber (97% of people are deficient in this key nutrient!), phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and water. In fact, 97% of American get more than enough protein every single day, so why is everyone so obsessed? Well, protein does play a vital role in thousands of biological processes like giving cell walls their structure, transporting and storing key nutrients, repair tissues (such as bones, skin, hair and muscles) as well as helping the body rid itself of toxins and waste.
Here is a link to a video that contains information from NutritionFacts.org
Where do you get your protein?
Here is a list I made up years ago for my clients:
Many of these foods you’re probably already familiar with, and the great news is, these foods are so much better for your body than animal sources. Plant-based sources of protein are abundant in whole foods. These foods contain incredible amounts of nutrient-dense properties that your body and brain can use to help you feel your best. They also don’t lead to inflammation like animal sources and they’re much better for the entire planet.
The beauty of food as medicine is that it can start as soon as your next meal!
Living with intention is powerful medicine, cleansing is one of those things that help us to be clear about those intentions. Weather this is cleansing with the changing of the seasons or aligning your daily rhythms with the cycles of the moon. Cleansing is a way to reconnect with your roots and the ancient wisdom of self healing through food, breath and conscious movement.
There are many reasons to cleanse. Here are a few:
1) Rest the stomach. For the tens of millions of people who are on acid-suppressing drugs — and for older folks who often don’t produce enough stomach acid — making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.
2) Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including saturated fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics or antacids), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut microbiome (flora and fauna balance) as well as actual breaks in the intestinal barrier (“leaky gut”) — allowing substances into our bodies that should not get a free pass. Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.
3) Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle — with many passing unchecked into the general circulation to wreak havoc in distant cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
4) Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
5) Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours — and reduces the enslavement of thinking constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel sated, but realize we are no longer slaves to our addictions with (often very harmful) foods.
6) Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). In my experience, this can help define what foods are causing our body problems.
7) Floods our body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods — and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.
9) Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing and healing nutrients than it has seen before.
9) Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than you ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.
10) Rehydrate the body. Drinking sufficient fluids – half your body weight in ounces of water – makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.
11) Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food — but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.
12) Allow maximum detoxification. To optimally support all phases of the body’s natural detox process, you need a very broad range of plant-supplied nutrients like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. By providing the body with super-nutrient dense foods juicing allows the body to have more of the resources it needs to support the phases of detoxification, and even to begin to help remove the cumulative toxins stored in the body.
13) Heal our cells. Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.
A foundation for self care and nourishment is what we feed our physical bodies. Since what we eat literally makes up the cells in our bodies it stands to reason that eating well makes up our entire experience of life. Our skin, nails, red blood cells, liver, bones, and heart all renew over different periods of time. Some processes take longer than others but isn’t this mind blowing? The human body is literally changing before our eyes and you can see why giving them healing foods is so important.
How do you nourish your body??