Category Archives: food

Get Clean

I haven’t been good lately. I’ve been strictly vegetarian for sure.. but I’ve been a booze-atarian bordering on drunkorexic. I’ve fallen into the same trap as millions of people. Working 60 hours a week resulting in eating shitty food, lapsing in self care, and self-medicating with beer, chocolate, and even vegan junk food I trick myself into thinking is healthy.

I will never be happy being just okay. I know from being on a high raw diet for years that my mind and body can do extraordinary things when I give them the right care. I believe a good diet can cure my chronic inflammation, help me shed unhealthy belly fat (the worst kind!) and help me be a more peaceful, happy person.

What prompted this was on Thursday I reached a breaking point. I knew my pathetic work/life balance (if you could even call it that) was not sustainable and my body felt like a dark heavy lump I was dragging around from job to job. A couple tears and $70 at Whole Foods later and I made about a gallon of green juice that I am nearly finished with after two days. I feel so much better.

Here’s the plan. February 28 starts the detox and rehabilitation process.

GOALS:

  • Fresh green juices: At least one a day. Other fruit/veg juices are bonus but getting the greens in is essential.
  • Green Smoothies: Daily. I already do this almost every day but having this goal will keep me on track.
  • 30 minutes of meditation a day: This is a huge goal and a time investment for me. After my vipassana retreat in 2013, my meditation practice has been confined to the 5 minutes of Savasana after yoga and the couple minutes when my eyes are closed before I fall asleep. 15 minutes, morning and evening. I will make time for it.
  • Practice yoga 5 times per week.
  • Work-out/Lift weights 2-3x per week: I feel 100000x better when I do this.
  • Strive for a high raw/paleo diet. Cutting out grains, dairy, legumes, processed sugar. I am not cutting out alcohol or coffee but I’m going to try to keep it to a minimum. Wine, cocktails with soda water and lemon or lime, and when possible fresh fruit juices.
  • Supplementation: Apple cidar vinegar, Algae Oil, trace minerals, and turmeric DAILY. These are things that have been recommended to me from healers but I haven’t quite been able to commit to, even though they’re sitting in my cupboard. It’s time.
  • Sunday Technology Detox: Take sundays off to be with friends, alone time, play the piano, practice yoga, rest. Keep phone/computer time to a minimum and don’t work.

February 28 I will weight myself, take measurements and photos. Because who doesn’t love a good before and after post?

Any suggestions, encouragement, words of wisdom?

love always,

little windmill

Food Diary

The most common question i get sent is about my diet! What do I eat and what is a typical day of meals like for me? I know there are a lot of great blogs that made their name documenting every bite they take during the day. That’s not my thing, but I decided to do it for one day, which has been educational for me as well. Fueling well is SO important, and I find that sticking to a diet rich in raw foods and juices is the best choice for me. Always just listen to your body and make the right food choices based on how you feel.

Here goes:

When I go to bed I throw whatever citrus fruits I have around in a gallon jar of water. Today’s was half an orange and a cinnamon stick. I also love cucumbers in the mix. I had about half of my water and then a big honey crisp apple. Then I went to yoga and had another apple and some water.

food-1

For breakfast I had my morning cereal, which I usually just throw together. But I measured today: 3 TB Chia seeds, almond milk(carageenan free), 2 TB ground flaxseed, 2 TB hemp seeds, 1 Cup frozen blueberries, 1 TB coconut nectar, and 1 TB cinnamon

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I also had my tea: Celestial seasonings Bengal Spice tea with french vanilla coconut milk creamer*. It tastes like a spicier chai tea latte… I went for a second cup, it’s so tasty!food-2

*So Delicious brand coconut milk creamer does contain carageenan

I took a delicious kale, cucumber, apple, lime juice to work with me. The (not so) secret mix: 1 head kale, 2 cucumbers, 2 apples, 2 limes- for a perfectly balanced, not too bitter, delicious green juice.

For dinner I had a delicious salad. This one had a greens mix of spinach, kale, and chard. Toppings were 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, shredded carrot, 1 TB olive oil, 1.5 TB nutritional yeast. I also love cucumber in my salads.

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For dessert I had a small version of my typical green smoothie: frozen berries, greens(I usually use plain spinach), banana, almond milk/water and sun warrior protein powder. In the morning I’ll maybe add some cacao powder (it’s loaded with caffeine). If I want a super power green smoothie, I’ll brew some green tea the night before and use that as the liquid in place of almond milk. I use YogiTea Blueberry Green Tea.

For snacks in between meals, I have fruits, vegetables, and a raw nuts. I don’t limit snacks, ever. If I want to have five bananas, I do. Sometimes if I’m lazy I’ll just make a super-sized smoothie in place of a salad.

Related articles:

Shopping guide to avoiding organic foods with carageenan

Raw VS. cooked food

 Info about raw juicing

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Guest post: Lose weight. Just use more sugar….

Hello Yogis! I’d like to introduce to you Emily, my fellow teacher trainee and a huge inspiration to me. I’m honored to have her guest post in my absence. Enjoy, friends!
emily-1
The biggest thing I learned from my yoga teacher is:  it’s okay to just breathe.  You don’t need to do anything else.  You can just be in this world.  You don’t have to strive for bigger and better.  You can be you.
I have always pushed myself.  I mean, c’mon, I had an eating disorder starting at the age of ten.  I wasn’t overweight, and I was beautiful (just like each and every person is!), but I had to be the fairest one of all.  Didn’t we hear that message somewhere as children?  Don’t we STILL hear that message now as adults?  “You have to challenge yourself.”  I know I hear that in some yoga classes. True, you do in some areas.  But what about those of us who are already doing that?  I usually get the life coach pep talk when I tell someone I don’t think marathons are healthy for me and to some degree in our society.  We focus so much on the physical aspect.  The physical aspect of running a marathon makes you do what?  Breathe.  And lots of it!
My teacher, Silvia Mordini, taught me the yogic concept of the Sanskrit words Sthira and Sukham.  Other synonyms for those words would be hard and soft, masculine and feminine, or my personal favorite as it relates to food, salt and sugar.  I don’t know about you, but too much salt on food doesn’t taste good.  The percentage of obese children in our country is ridiculously high.  Hmm, yes, too much sugar.  But I have an affinity for salt.  French fries are my favorite food.
My yoga practice was too strong.  It was harder for me to make myself go into Child’s Pose every time instead of Down Dog.  I felt like I wasn’t doing something right if I wasn’t pushing myself.  But then I started to let go of the control, and just started having fun.  If I didn’t feel like doing a pose, I wouldn’t do it.  If I felt like moving my arms or legs while everyone else was in a rigid pose, I would.  The most important thing was, I started smiling.
You can actually lose weight just by doing breathing exercises.  Truth.   The poses, or asanas, are one part of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  Yes, I think they are important.  I do around ten minutes a day of various postures that I feel my body needs.  It’s my creative coffee for the morning since I can’t have the real thing due to my adrenal disorder I’ve developed from trying to run the marathon of our societal race.  I may not be as super buff or skinny like I used to, but more people tell me how great I look now than ever before.
Maybe I’ll need to push myself more in the future, but first I must listen to my body, and it tells me more love, more sukham, more sugar.
I’ll have another scoop, please.
You can find Emily at www.nilesreporting.com and soon she’ll be introducing her writings on YogaRewire.com, coming soon!
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Ayurveda Cleanse: The Exciting Conclusion!

I made it! 5 days of Ayurveda cleansing complete! Okay maybe not extremely exciting, but my cleanse week has taught me a couple of things:

Simplicity is key. Don’t over think your food choices. Obsessing about everything you eat will just give you more anxiety surrounding food. The nice thing about cleansing is eliminating a couple decisions from your day. When you start to over-complicate your diet, that’s when you start over or under eating and digestion gets messed up. Find a few meals that you like and can have on a daily basis. It will be more cost efficient and make you feel better in the long run.

I don’t need as much food as I think I do. I ate 1 cup of kitchari for each meal. A cup of kitchari has about 300 calories, totaling 900 calories a day give or take a couple hundred calories of coconut oil.

I run better on raw foods. During my cleanse, I didn’t feel so great during yoga. When I’m following a raw food diet, I feel flexible and strong, but eating kitchari was making me feel tired and stiff in my practice. I know that it’s a different story for every body, but this was my experience.

It’s nice to restart. It felt wonderful to break the not-so-great diet habits I had developed. After my cleanse I felt like I had pressed the restart button and could start from page 1 with my diet choices. Eating a mono-diet has made me appreciate so much the different flavors and textures of food, I can savor and have gratitude for each bite.

Enjoy your food! It is one of the great pleasures in life. Sitting down to a family dinner, baking cookies for a loved one, sipping lemonade on the front porch…

Habits I will hold on to:

Tongue scraping. It just makes so much sense to me. White icky stuff on your tongue? Scrape it off!

The media diet. Waking up and not immediately staring at my email inbox was one of the things that made this week great. I am making a commitment to leave my cell phone alone until I walk out the door.

Warm water. Warm water with lemon made me feel bright and energized. That stays.

To your health!

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Ayurveda Cleanse Day 4: Pump Up Your Detox

An Update:

Happy Thursday, all!

Today is my last day on kitchari. I’m not really going to miss it, mostly because I enjoy fruit and eating what I want when I want. Although I must admit, adding sweet potato made all the difference. Tomorrow I will go 100% juice to break my fast. Yay!

I took a dropperful, as prescribed, of my Herbalist Detox tincture last night, and woke up very nauseated. It could very well be because I took it on an empty stomach and there are some powerful things in there.

Today I took a power shot of fresh dandelion juice, which was WAY more disgusting than parsley juice, by the way. Dandelion juice does wonders for your liver and serves up a whopping 203% of your daily need of vitamin A, 58% of vitamin C, 17% of iron, and 20% of calcium. (source) That is for sure a power plant!

Detox Tip #3

Give yourself a boost! Eating kitchari, drinking juice, or master cleansing isn’t going to give you dramatic results. You have to make a lifestyle change and engage in activities that further detoxify your body.

Daily yoga practice. It might be five minutes, it might be an hour. Give yourself some time daily to stretch your fascia and loosen up. Include twists and deep breathing for added benefit. Sidenote: It doesn’t necessarily need to be yoga! If you are a runner and you’re up for it, run! Sweat daily, 30 minutes preferably.

Acupressure. I’ve been using my Spoonk Mat daily because I read of a method especially for cleansing. You stand (yeoch! It’s not so bad) on the mat, relax your body and do some gentle movement like swinging your arms. Like laying on the mat, it feels euphoric after a while. Some candles and music help, too. There are also many reflexology treatments you can do at home for the liver and kidneys.

Media diet. One of my favorite things about this week is waking up to sweet thoughts and saying a mantra of gratitude when I wake up, instead of immediately putting a screen in my face and checking my email. It makes for a much more peaceful morning. It unwinds your brain a bit and clears some of the mental clutter.

Superfoods. I highly recommend adding some raw, fresh, herb or superfood shots in to your diet. If you have a juicer or juice bar near you, a wheatgrass shot or pure herbal shot is ideal. They don’t taste great, but when your body is in a pure state of cleaning itself, these can really give it a boost. Turmeric is also an incredibly detoxifying root.

Skin brushing or massage. Brushing with a skin brush helps stimulate the lymph nodes, and circulatory system. It removes dead surface skin, and opens up pores, allowing toxins to excrete your body better. Similar to massage, skin brushing also breaks up groups of toxins, allowing them to be removed from your body. I feel more comfortable with massage because I can tell a professional exactly what I want to work on and trust that they will know what they’re doing. This is especially useful for the buildup of lactic acid from working out.

Ayurvedify. The complete package of the Ayurvedic Panchakarma that I am doing can be found here. This includes info about tongue scraping, nasal flushing, etc.

Remember this is all stuff that should make you feel GOOD. If something doesn’t feel good or feels off in your body, don’t do it! Everyone is different, these are just my experiences. Any detox boosts I missed?

Turmeric

Turmeric

Dandelion

Dandelion

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Ayurveda Cleanse Day 3

An Update:

I added a bit of sweet potato to my kitchari after yoga today…SO good. I highly recommend it. Just sauteed a bit in coconut oil and through it into my normal mixture. Since today I am not at work, I was feeling low blood sugar creep in with the absence of the fruit/vegetable juices, so the sweet potato was perfect. I just read that you can go off the cleanse with a one day juice cleanse, I think I’ll do that friday.

The kind folks at The Herbalist set me up with a special detox herbal tincture for my cleanse! I’m going to make some tinctures of my own in the next week to see how they turn out, their benefits are amazing!

This one has Oregon Grape root, Yellow Dock root, Burdock root, Dandelion root, and fennel. I will let you know how it effects me after a full day of use.

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Tastes like rotten garbage…That must mean it’s working!

Detox Tip #2

Lemon water! I know it sounds obvious, but it has really saved the day for me! On cleanses your sense of smell and taste are heightened, and the lemon water tastes so flavorful and delicious! As much as I miss my morning coffee, these benefits of drinking warm lemon water in the morning are hard to ignore:

Boosts your immune system. Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
Balances pH. Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). An alkaline body is apparently the key to good health.
Aids digestion. The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
Clears skin. The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
Hydrates the lymph system. This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, things like yoga can only control it up to a certain point, your diet must help out!
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Ayurveda Cleanse Day 2: Detoxing with Pranayama

An Update:

Thank goodness the headache is gone today. Unfortunately I’m having some sinus pressure, I remember that happening during my juice cleanse too but I’ve never heard anyone else mention that symptom. It faded mid morning and all went back to normal. I devoured my first two servings of kitchari already today and in between had smalls cups of carrot lime juice and kale cucumber lime juice with a dash of apple. No pure parsley shots today but the juice definitely clears that foggy brain feeling.

Yoga went well again, sweating is always nice although my body doesn’t feel as flexible or strong as when I’m on a raw food diet. I will admit I just had double servings of kitchari…this batch was so good and I was hungry! The no water with meals thing is tough for me too! Apparently water during meals dilutes the digestive enzymes and makes it difficult to absorb nutrients.

Tomorrow night I think I’ll treat myself to a more gourmet version with veggies and whatever my personal chef boyfriend concocts. Namaste!

Detox Tip #1: 

I’ve been reading about the detoxifying effects of pranayama.

Deep breathing, where you fill your belly and expand your diaphragm downwards, is one of the most powerful exercise you can do to activate your lymph system which helps to detoxify your body. Your lymph system is what gets the garbage out. Practice 10 deep slow breaths counting 4 seconds in, 8 seconds hold and 8 seconds out.

According to the ‘Tao of Breathing’ up to 70% of our body’s waste products are eliminated via our lungs and the rest through the urine, skin and feces. When the efficiency of our lungs is reduced due to poor breathing less oxygen is available to our cells, it slows down the flow of blood which carries wastes from the kidneys and lungs. Our lymphatic system which fights off viral and bacterial invaders is weakened along with a slower digestive process.It’s all about the breath!

Deep_Breathing

just in case you forgot how to breathe

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Ayurveda Cleanse Day 1

Kitchari (kitch-a-ree)

This morning I had my first bites of kitchari. I went for simple the first day- mung beans, basmati rice, cilantro, spices, and coconut oil. The smell was so good coming from the rice maker this morning that it actually woke me up! It’s pretty tasty, hot definitely better than cold. It looks a bit…predigested, but seasoned well it’s hearty and filling. I found skipping coffee easier than I had anticipated. I had a cup of warm water as planned and felt okay with that. I arrived at work around 6:30 and felt fine.

At about 8:30 I hit a wall. Somehow I knew it was sugar I wanted, not caffeine. I don’t crave candy or white sugar, but I’d kill for some fresh fruit right now! I have had a headache since around then, but it got better when I had my second serving of kitchari and some herbal tea.

I am blessed to work in a place where fresh raw juices are being pressed all day long, so I treated myself to a shot of pure parsley juice and some grapefruit, kale, lime, and alfalfa juices. That seemed to curb the headache a bit too. I considered cutting the juices completely too, but they are so nutrient dense that I feel like they could only help, as long as I stay away from the extra sweet ones.

Before hot yoga I was feeling very hungry in combination with my headache, but I’m happy to report both are gone! I just had my dinner serving of kitchari and feel much better. I suppose I eat many more calories normally than I have today, which is why I’m so low energy today.

I can’t wait to see how tomorrow goes!

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Fuel V

How are your new year’s resolutions going?

So many of us resolve to eat better, and it’s a fine goal for sure- but we need to make choices that can sustain these goals. I know, I know. If you’re craving chocolate, legumes and fruit are just not going to cut it. But I find this list from Naturopathy Works useful and interesting. I don’t feel good if I don’t fuel with the right thing, and it drags me down during my practice. It’s an interesting thing to test out- swap out foods to see what chemical your body was really asking for but manifesting to you as an unhealthy craving.

If you crave this…

What you really need is…

Healthy foods that have it:

Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, dried beans
Carbon Fresh fruits
Phosphorus eggs, yogurt, nuts, legumes, grains
Tryptophan Cheese, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Fish, eggs, nuts, legumes
Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron Fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Seafood, dairy, nuts
Potassium Sun-dried black olives, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Fish, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan Cheese, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Another thing I like to do is find different, less refined and more nutrient rich versions of the things I love. Here are my personal favorites:

If you crave this…

 

Try this

Chocolate Any of these guilt free chocolate options. Cacao is extremely healthy. A healthy treat to make on your own is raw liquid chocolate: 1:1 cacao powder and raw coconut oil with your choice of sweeteners. This solidifies in the refrigerator.
Fries Sweet potato fries! Slice up a sweet potato and toss with olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Recipe.
 Big Mac Okay stay with me on this one. A lot of times, it’s not even the food we crave, but the ritual and the experience like that of biting into a big mac that we’re after. Grilling portobello mushrooms really brings out their meaty flavor(Epicurious) and is a great substitution for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Recipe.
Cookies A piece of sweet fruit. Yep!
 Mac ‘N Cheese  A big bowl of oatmeal or yogurt with chia seeds, nuts, cranberries, and non-dairy milk. Any toppings you’d like so you don’t feel at all deprived.
 Hungry for no reason/Bored  A big green smoothie! Frozen banana, blueberries, protein powder, and spinach is my norm. If it grew out of the ground, throw it in there. Info.
Enjoy!
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Fuel IV: Yogi Eggnog

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1 Heaping C cashews (add more depending on the thickness you like)
2 Scant C water
2-3 dates, soaked for 15-20 minutes(use the date soak water for this recipe because it’s sweet)
2 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
dash of sea salt

You can blend for a long time to heat it up some like a Nog Latte, or refrigerate for an original Nog experience. Strain with cheese cloth if desired.

I have always loved eggnog at christmas. But in recent years, the ingredients list has given me quite a scare. Blend up this sweet, raw vegan version in a snap.

Enjoy the last of 2012 yogis!

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