Balance: Day 2 of the #ckyogachallenge

Today is Day 2 of the #ckyogachallenge and the theme is Balance. Such an important area to shed focus on, both in your physical life and your nutritional life. Keeping a well-balanced physical life will not only help you atheistically, but will help strengthen your bones, release endorphins (happy chemicals!), increase your flexibility, help decrease your risk of diseases (heart disease, dementia, hypertension, type II diabetes just to name a few). The benefits list goes on and on! That being said, pairing balancing exercises with flexibility/strength exercises is just as important. Stretching after a long run, alternating which muscles you’ll work one day verse the next, holding yoga poses to work on stamina.

Today’s pose, Half Moon & Revolved Half Moon, takes balancing to the next level. Not only are we focused on lifting our legs in this pose, we’re raising our arm and opening ourselves. It’s quite the balancing act between balance & flexibility. Check out my Instagram account for my Philly Half-MOon. Head on over to Mamaste Yoga’s page for a great explanation of this pose; she’ll give a step by step on how to properly balance here.

Eat more Greens! My Bryn & Dane Green Smoothie
Eat more Greens! My Bryn & Dane Green Smoothie

Nutritionally speaking, balance is essential in your diet. I’m going to focus on the balance of animal verse plant and how limiting the latter and increasing the former helps balance more than your health. It’s no secret I’ve given up eating land animals and while I would never try to convince anyone to follow in my footsteps, I do like to point out the amazing benefits of adding more plants to your diet and in turn, decreasing animal consumption. Again, it’s a balancing act that has far greater benefits than people may realize at first. What are those benefits, you ask!? Well, let me just name a few:

  1. Hard to stomach: Animal protein is tough to digest and can reek havoc on your internal organs. From hypertension to clogged arteries
  2. Meat & Cancer: The high fat content of meat increases hormone production, increasing the risk of hormone-related cancer
  3. Leaves you feeling sluggish: Animal protein takes a massive amount of energy to break down, thus your body feels drained, bloated, just sluggish.
  4. Huge Carbon footprint: While this doesn’t have anything per-se to do with nutrition, the environmental impacts of meat production are massive. Meat production produces more emissions than all other modes of transportation combined.

And I won’t even discuss the cruel conditions the for-consumption-animals are kept in. Promise, I’m not preaching!

Strictly health-wise, adding the veggies, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds in place of the meat can make huge improvements. Since it’s Meatless Monday I thought I’d bring some balance to your table and tip the scales in favor of the plants. So, here are three recipes (breakfast, lunch & dinner) to nosh on that incorporate the plants, not the meat.

 

Avocado, Sunflower & Pumpkin seed Toast

Raw sunflower seeds
Raw pumpkin seeds
1 Avocado
Whole wheat/gluten free bread

Toast a piece or two of your favorite bread (avoid the processed, enriched white flour breads)

Half an avocado & spread on your toast – top with raw sunflower & pumpkin seeds
Happy Breakfast!

 

Lemon Hummus Salad Bowl

2 organic carrots, shredded
½ cucumber, sliced
4 radish
1 cup of spinach, kale, or dark leafy greens

Hummus
1 can of Garbanzo beans
2 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1 lemon

Combine all in a food processor or blender.

Put greens in a bowl, top with carrots, cucumber, radish & hummus and enjoy! You can serve with pita chips or rice cakes for added crunch.

 

Brown Rice & Black Bean Tacos with cilantro & lime Guacamole

1 can vegetarian black beans

Brown rice (cooked as directed)

Package of corn tortillas

Bunch of cilantro

Lime wedges

2 large avocados

¼ red onion, diced

Chopped organic tomatoes (depending on the season, canned may be better)

Shredded lettuce or spinach to garnish

 

Guacamole

Scoop both avocados into a large bowl
Add diced onions, juice from 2-3 lime wedges
Mix

Drain the can of beans, then heat on the stove – add cilantro to taste
Cook rice as directed

Assemble tacos with beans, rice then top with guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce/spinach & guacamole. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Balance: Day 1 of the #ckyogachallenge

Balance is a hot topic. Finding balance with work/life, working out/chilling on the couch, splitting your time between family/friends, eating well/grabbing what’s available. Forever tipping the scale one way or the other can be exhausting!

Today is Day 1 of the #ckyogachallenge and it’s all about balance. In fact, the next 3 days will be all about balance – diving into Yoga poses that help our physical balance paired with nutritional tips that will help balance our insides. Finding balance inside and out is so essential to your physical and mental well-being.

Balance Day 1:  Tree Pose
Balance Day 1: Tree Pose

Today’s pose is Tree Pose.

Finding balance within this pose can be challenging, but calming once found. Plant your feet firmly hip width apart, rooting down. Raise your right foot and place on your calf (with your toes still on the cround, heel resting on your calf) or you can pick up your whole food and place firmly on your walk, knee pointing to the right, or you can grab your foot and place it on your inner thigh. Just avoid your knee joint. Raise your hands, breathe, focus. Pick a spot in front of you to focus on – you can even repeat an affirmation to help you hone in: I am balanced, I am calm, I am strong. Make sure you hold for a few breathes or minutes if you can. Switch sides and repeat.

Balance isn’t just about how long you can stand on one foot, although it’s a good start! Finding balance nutritionally can be challenging and overwhelming as well! Your body needs a ton of good nutrients to be in balance and function properly. Hormonal Balance is also essential and can be achieved by eating macro nutrients: carbs, protein, and good fat.

What the heck is hormonal balance!? The Endocrine System controls your bodys’ functions by producing and storing hormones  (think metabolism, mood, digestive function, bone growth, reproduction). Having well-balanced hormones is kind of a big deal.

How in the heck do you get well-balanced hormones!? By eating a well-balanced diet of course! By consuming a variety of macro-nutrients (carbs, protein, and good fats) your hormones will be kept in check and your body will function like a rock star, you’ll have increased energy, better skin, good digestion and a strong immune system.

OMG, you NEED fat!? Ummm, yes! Get off the low-fat, low-calorie kick (especially with artificial sweeteners!) Eating the RIGHT kind of natural fat is essential for your body’s growth, function, development. Seriously, eat your good fat.

What do I eat!? Well, here’s a few ideas…

Good Fats = Hormonal Balance
Good Fats = Hormonal Balance

Avocados

High in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E these green beauties are not only delicious, but super good for you! Put them on sandwiches, rice cakes, top them on asian dishes, make spring rolls, add them to smoothies, make guacamole….the list goes on and on for the things you can do with this super food. Mike and I ALWAYS have avocados in the house – they are a staple!

Coconut Oil

If you’re cooking on a regular basis, it is time to try Coconut oil! It contains lauric acid which helps repair the skin and boosts hormone production.  And it helps kill bad bacteria in the body (take that flu season!) it’s easy to digest and gives a quick energy boost. Try adding it to a pre-workout smoothie, cook your veggies with it, and substitute your butter for this healthy bacteria fighting goodness.

There’s a million other nutrient-dense foods, spices and herbs that will get your body balanced in a bad a#$ kinda way. Remember, balancing your insides are as important, if not more so as your outside. If you are noshing on the right stuff, your guts will be balanced & your tree pose will be balanced from the inside out.

Happy Balancing!

February Yoga Challenge: #ckyogachallenge

21 Day #CKYogaChallenge
21 Day #CKYogaChallenge

There’s motivation in motivating, so we’re back at it again! Katie and I have paired up again to present another Yoga challenge for the first 21 days of February. Here’s what you need to know about our 21 day #ckyogachallenge:
1. It starts February 1st, this Sunday, and goes through Saturday February 21st.

2. We’ll be focusing on seven major areas: Balance, Core, Arm Strength, Legs, Inversions, Upper Body, Back Bends. For the first 3 days we’ll do Balance poses, one per day. The next 3 days, Core poses…and so on!

3. Each day will have a pose or flow for you to focus on & we will ask that you participate by practicing the pose & tagging us in your picture.

4. Along with the Yoga, we’ll post a nutritional tip, fact, recipe daily – the yoga lifestyle is about taking care of your mind & body physically as well as nutritionally!

5. Follow us on Instagram to get in on the fun! @clawrencester & @mamasteyoga Not on Instagram? Like Mamaste Yoga on Facebook to see posts.

6. Have fun, take care of your body, stay motivated!!

Join us for 21 days and commit to a healthier lifestyle. Whether you want to deepen your practice, try yoga, gain balance & flexibility, strengthen your core, loose a bit of weight, or just incorporate a positive habit into your routine, this is a great way to do it! If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live!?

Namaste

Happy #ckchallenge!!