Monthly Archives: January 2012

15 Jan

Yoga Playlist: January 2012

blog_JanplaylistExchange – Massive Attack
I Spy (Spying Glass) – Massive Attack
Goin’ Bad – Nico & Soul
Love Like A Sunset, Pt 1 – Phoenix
Why – She’s a Tease
The Pirate Song (Dina Dayal) – Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
Caminhos De Cuba – Luiz De Aquino
Easy – Tracey Thorn
Leif Erikson – Interpol
Black Milk – Massive Attack
La Redecouverte – Amelie Soundtrack
La Valse D’amelie (Version 2) – Amelie Soundtrack

08 Jan

New Playlist 2012!

blog_2012playlistShip – ISAN
Sovatex 2055 – Marsmobil
Solastalgia – Zero 7
I know You Are But What Am I? – Mogwai
Naoki – Guitar
Facing East – Thievery Corporation
The Forgotten People – Thievery Corporation
Nightcall – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx
Raja Mati – Nada
The Return – Bliss
Nude – Radiohead
Bloodstream – Stateless
El-Hadra – Sacred Planet
Cocoon – Michael Hewett

07 Jan

Yummy Veggie Soup

blog_veggiesoup2We had a taste of the cold weather earlier this week… and since then I’ve been craving warm and delicious soups! Soups are one of the easiest meals to make, so I decided to try my own veggie soup at home. It was SO EASY, and came out tasting great!

Veggie Soup

Ingredients you need:

1 peeled potato
4 peeled carrots
1 can of organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – soak the chickpeas first so that the skin comes off
Box of mushrooms to slice
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
5 stalks of celery
1 red or yellow onion (I used red)
a bunch of dill
1 vegetable bouillon (Knorr is a good brand)

Boil water with added salt (not too much) in a big soup pot that can hold all of these veggies. As the water starts to boil, and after peeling and slicing the necessary vegetables, throw them into the pot and let them boil for about 2-3 hours. You may need to add more salt to taste as the soup is cooking.

I also boiled a box of quinoa pasta to add in as extra protein.

The end product was absolutely delicious! Once you’re all done cooking, you can refrigerate and/or freeze to have for days or weeks! Enjoy!!!

07 Jan

January Detoxification

blog_detoxSo, I had mentioned in an earlier post that for the month of January I was going to be participating in a cleanse/detoxification. I am certain that I’m not the only one, as many things that I’ve seen and read lately are all about cleansing at the start of a new year. It’s a good opportunity at the turn of a New Year… since cleansing or detoxifying the body is ALWAYS a good idea. It gives the digestion system and your organs a much-needed break (whether it’s January or July!), but somehow it just seems easier when the calendar year changes and we are hungry for health!

I have done a ton of research about this stuff and talked to many different people, many of whom have participated in versions of their own cleanse or have had problems that led them to eliminate certain aspects of their diet all together. I have chosen to eliminate alcohol, gluten, dairy, and most sugars (will explain more in detail below).

Why Gluten?

Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley. Therefore, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture.
For this reason, flour that has had most of its gluten removed, produces a sticky dough that feels much like chewing gum. GA-ROSS! Imagine all of that attempting digestion in your body, whether gluten-intolerant or not. I’d say, generally speaking, removing gluten from your diet or at least cutting back significantly on the amount that you ingest on a regular basis will be a tremendous help in how you feel from day to day.

I often find that when I eat too much gluten I feel lethargic and bloated. My body doesn’t know how to process it well anymore because I don’t eat too much of it. When I do eat it (like during the holiday overload of cookies, pumpkin pie, pasta, etc…. I am human!), I felt like my body was working way harder than usual to breakdown all of the crapola I was eating, which in turn was making me feel tired, etc… it does make a difference.

Gluten-free options: Grains like wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. Gluten-free bread (good brands to try are Rudy’s and Food for Life). Quinoa or brown rice pasta is actually delicious and does not leave you feeling full, bloated and like you have to roll your way home from the restaurant!

Why Alcohol?

I am eliminating alcohol for the simple and profound purpose of giving my liver a break! I am not a big drinker as it is, but I find that when I don’t drink at all, I feel clear-minded and I sleep better. Around the holidays, we all tend to drink a little bit more than usual, and so, I have been craving an alcohol-free state of mind and being.

Another good thing to do during a cleanse is start your day off with a glass of hot water with 1/2 juice of a lemon squeezed into it. You might want to add a little bit of honey or agave if it’s too sour for you… this helps detoxify the liver as well. This is something that can be done every day, not just during a cleanse.

Why some sugars, not all?

Let’s be real, the only sugars I am not eliminating are the occasional piece of dark chocolate (which I just can’t live without!) and one cup of coffee in the morning sweetened with coconut milk creamer. These are my hooks, what can I say?

Sugar and refined carbs are incredibly addictive. The more you have, the more you want, and it takes increasingly larger amounts to satisfy. A good way to satisfy a sweet craving is with fruit… and continue eating fruit through these cravings until eventually they subside.

In order to eliminate sugar, first start checking the labels of foods you eat and make sure there’s no sugar in the list of ingredients. This includes high fructose corn syrup or any ingredient ending in “ose,” like dextrose or glucose. Once you raise this level of awareness, you will notice that these ingredients are in EVERYTHING! I highly recommend eliminating as many processed foods as you can (ex: canned goods, microwavable foods, etc). and start buying fresh ingredients to cook your food with! Keep a wide-eyed look out for refined carbohydrates which include: white flour, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc.

Why Dairy?

Dairy is one of the most mucus-forming foods we can consume; mucus is the body’s way to protect itself from unwanted toxins. The digestive tract is designed to absorb the nutrients from the food that we eat, and with too much dairy intake/mucus build-up, it becomes covered with a mucoid plaque or film which protects our blood from toxins, but would make us crazy sick if absorbed. Our body tries to rid itself of these toxins through whatever outlet it can… the nose (allergies and sneezing), the lungs (asthma and other bronchial conditions), and the skin (rashes, outbreaks, soreness) as outlets for these toxins. This same film does not allow us to absorb any nutrients, and over the years, as this mucoid plaque gets thicker and harder, we become under-nourished, exhausted, congested and miserable. YUCK! By eliminating dairy, numerous health conditions (e.g. asthma, allergies, rashes, etc.) could clear up quickly and completely.

Options to try: almond milk or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. If you’re going to eat any cheese at all, I would suggest trying raw cheese instead of pasteurized. Organic Valley makes really good raw cheese that is sold at Fairway, Whole Foods and other health food markets. As a replacement to butter, try Earth Balance made with olive oil (not soy).

*As a side note, but an important note: I generally always try to keep the soy intake of my diet to minimal amounts. Soy is a processed form of protein that is not good for us to consume in large amounts. Again, anything processed is generally not the best for you. Soy also has controversial estrogen levels, has been known to decrease testosterone levels, increase the risk of breast cancer, and in general is just no good! Check out labels before buying, try to avoid brands that use soy, soy lecithen, or anything of a soy derivative nature.

Lastly, drink lots of water! It’s hydrating for your organs, muscles and great for the skin!

Happy healthy eating. You can always message me if you have any further questions. And be sure to take the time to stop and notice the changes you are experiencing as you cut certain things out of your diet. It’s the small little shifts (based on the bigger decisions) that change your overall quality of life. Good luck!


03 Jan

Holiday Overeaters Anonymous

blog_cleanse1So why is it that we all tend to gorge ourselves over the holiday season? There is something neurologically built into our systems that allows us to cut ourselves that extra bit of slack… go for the second or third cookie or piece of cake… I get it… Although I understand that this is both the nicer part of what feels like letting go, it also feels somewhat extreme to me. The aftermath of “letting go” by way of gorging ourselves doesn’t isn’t natural. And after the fact, when it’s time to get “back to reality”, it hits a little harder than we think as it’s an adjustment all over again of finding our way back to eating things in moderation.

It’s been a whirlwind of the past few months for me, not only did I get married, but the entire wedding planning process was like entering a wedding planning vortex that took me out of my reality for the last several months, and then the wedding, and then the honeymoon, and then the holidays! When we got back from Thailand, it was time for Thanksgiving, and I had no idea where the month of November had gone. Needless to say, I was completely off of my regular eating routine, eating all sorts of new foods from around the world, and my body was most definitely feeling it. I do believe strongly in moderation, however, I will say – that moderation is relative for everyone. We are all different, and I, myself might not be the most moderate when it comes to eating, according to some. My healthy way of eating might seem extreme in the sense that I actually care A LOT about what I put into my body, not because of weight and vanity, but because I truly feel like my body is my temple… and what I put into it affects EVERYTHING. Because I am so fine-tuned to this, when I don’t eat in my usual way, I feel it.

As we now turn the corner into 2012, it’s a good time to come back to our routine, let go of the holiday splurges, and perhaps even participate in some kind of detox or cleanse. For the month of January, I will be cleaning out my body by simply (not so simply) heightening my awareness of what I eat on a daily basis. I am cutting out alcohol, gluten, most sugars and dairy. My blog will list in detail the intricacies of what I am choosing to eat, why I have chosen to eliminate the above ingredients, and I’ll also document the changes I feel in my body.

Happy New Year, and here’s to starting this New Year off right!