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Posts tagged ‘body’

Blending the Natural You

Autumn Sunset

Autumn Sunset

As the air invites a slight chill and the trees blush in brilliance, we are enchanted by autumn spices, lit fireplaces and the promise of a festive holiday season. School is back in session and summer travels have weaned as we revisit routine and tradition.  This is a time for renewal and re-forecasting.  What are your goals for the season to come? How do you want to look?  How do you want to feel?  How do you want to live your life?  The turn of the season is the optimal time to cleanse and refresh.  Increasing the amount of fresh raw organic foods in your diet is a simple and delicious way to embrace this new chapter in life.  However, raw foods alone are not the only answer to complete health and well-being.  Creating the life and body of your dreams requires a holistic approach.  Nurturing the mind, body, and spirit together will beautify and rejuvenate the total Self.

Nurture the Total Self

Nurture the Total Self

MIND

As daily routines are reformed, take time to revisit goals.  Return to yourself. Make yourself a priority.  How do you want to look, feel and live?  Create and practice motivating affirmations.  Harness a positive mindset.  Fill your heart with deep gratitude for what you already have in life. Say to yourself, “I am successful.  I am healthy.  I am attractive.” Fill in the blank with your own aspirations.  You are what you think.  You can rise up from the mundane and create a fresh start.  You can do and create anything you put your thoughts and your heart towards.  Be mindful; sincerely feel what you want and make it happen.

BODY

Take advantage of the tepid autumn weather while it is here. Get outside and move your body!  The best exercise is that in which you enjoy. Relish in the movement and honor the body as a fluid and powerful system.  Walk, swim, cycle, jog, surf, row, hike, garden- be creative, pick an activity and have fun. Breathe in the fresh outdoor air, and soak up the sun’s natural vitamin D.  Wake up and refresh the body.

SPIRIT

Take a moment during this special month to just be.  This enchanting time of year gifts us a tranquil lull before the holidays arrive.  Take advantage of it, and cherish these few peaceful weeks.  Notice the leaves turn, smell the air, sit in silence, watch the afternoon sun turn gold. Unplug from techno-culture. Be quiet.  Be alone if only for a moment.  A few minutes a day amidst your busy schedule will help center and refresh you.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

NOURISHMENT

Feed your body well with pure foods.  There is no denying it, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.  Transitioning into a high raw diet is simple.  If you have a blender, you can start by adding green smoothies to your daily meal plan.  A high-powered blender like a Vitamix is ideal for whipping up silky smooth drinks, for it breaks down fiber to the molecular level.  Adding one or more smoothies a day offers extra vitamins and minerals, fortifying your physical constitution.  Green smoothies are an excellent meal replacement or can be used as an in-between snack.  With approximately 100-250 calories per quart, these green drinks are great for attaining or maintaining your perfect weight.  Take advantage of the late summer and autumn fruits that are still available like peaches and pears.

Making green smoothies is easy. Simply add the following to a high-powered blender:

2 whole fruits

2 handfuls of green leafy vegetables

1 cup of ice

2 cups of filtered water

Blend until smooth.

The flavor of the fruit outshines over the greens, making these smoothies delicious to drink.  Try the following recipe ideas.

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Peachy Green

2 peaches

2 handfuls of spinach

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 116

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…7g

Protein…7g

Vitamin A…332%

Vitamin C…101%

Calcium…18%

Iron…28%

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Perfect Pair

2 pears

2 handfuls of dinosaur kale

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 260

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…13g

Protein…6g

Vitamin A…414%

Vitamin C…291%

Calcium…21%

Iron…16%

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Mango Melody

1 ripe mango

2 handfuls of parsley

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 116

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…7g

Protein…7g

Vitamin A…332%

Vitamin C…101%

Calcium…18%

Iron…28%

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Notice all the Vitamin A, C, iron, protein and, most notably, calcium in these fruited green yummies.  Are you surprised to see that a serving of green smoothie has as much calcium and protein as a glass of milk? Don’t be fooled by the milk industry’s ardent marketing efforts.  Greens have more of what your body needs! Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses loaded with chlorophyll, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Calorie for calorie, they are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food.

Greens make your eyes sparkle; they clear your skin and promote hair and nail growth. The carbohydrates in greens are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest, balancing blood glucose levels. Greens are very alkalizing and balancing for the body and are wonderful mood enhancers.  They also protect bones from osteoporosis. The best food you can add to your diet are green leafy vegetables.  Any way you can sneak more into your menu plan, the better you will look and feel.

Organic Garden Greens

Organic Garden Greens

There are many benefits to eating a raw or a high raw diet. It is common to have an increase in energy. Sleep requirements are typically minimized, the immune system is strengthened, mood is elevated and a general sense of well-being is often experienced. Some raw fooders diligently eat 100% raw, avoiding all processed and cooked foods. This may be your lifestyle or goal, or you may simply wish to increase your organic fruit and vegetable intake. It does not matter where you are on the path towards health and vitality, just eat better. All your little efforts will add up to big results. Be food conscious. Learn to be aware of how certain foods make you feel. Eat high energy, health promoting foods, and fuel your body with pure nutrition that will help you bounce out of bed each morning and shine all day!

Nourish Your Mind, Body and Spirit!

Nourish Your Mind, Body and Spirit!

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Communing with Water

Flowing water over Galena Creek, Reno, Nevada

I love water.  Water is movement, action, vibrancy and life.  I love water in all forms.  I enjoy watching water run over slick rocks in creeks, carrying with it many life forms, providing a self-sustaining ecosystem.  I enjoy sitting in the damp sand, watching the ferocity and energy of ocean waves as they slap shorelines, intimidating me, exciting me.  The power dwarfs me, humbling me.   I also relish in simple pleasures like long showers.  I cherish my time under the hot flowing water as it cleanses and awakens me.

Water is musical.  Some of my favorite sounds are of rumbling creeks and of trickling water fountains.  I can think of countless times I have snuggled up in my home, listening to the symphony of raindrops as they pound on my rooftop like a team of thundering pianos.

When the skies open, I cannot contain myself.  I want to be in the rain, in the flurry and liveliness of nature as it washes the earth.  My fondest childhood memories are of my long walks in the rain with my father in the wooded Oakland hills.  The dark, wet daylight would amplify the green trees and vegetation.  Life stood still, and all that could be heard was the pitter-patter of wet drops on exposed leaves.  The sounds of water can be calming as well as dramatic.

I have always loved being in water.  Swimming is a source of pleasure for me.  As a child, I would turn into a wrinkled prune before I ever considered leaving the pool.  As an adult, I swim to relax and energize.  I love the way it makes me feel physically, emotional and spiritually.  Exercise improves the body and mind, but swimming, for me, takes the experience an extra step.  I can meditate in and around water.  When I swim laps, I get into a grove, a meditation so to speak.  I can truly turn off my mind, allowing my body to flow.  It is rhythmic.

This rhythm and the clear presence I have when I commune with water is the common theme behind my love for water.  Water is power, it flows, and I feel my body and my spirit flows with it.  I can float into a restful yet powerful place when I am by a creek, an ocean, or even as I stand with my arms open to a storming sky.  I simply love the way water sounds, feels and gives life.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

Quote by Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey, 1957

Trust Your Body’s Enlightenment

Walking the Soul's Path

Walking the Soul’s Path

There is a strong correlation between the body and the spirit. We identify with our bodies as “I”. We identify with our minds even more deeply, for it drives us, often dictating our choices and directions. For those who are able to listen to the heart or follow gut instincts, messages from the body, personal journeys are more easily traveled. Our soul’s true purpose is stored in our bodies, for our bodies and our spirituality are so closely linked. The subconscious mind knows why we are here in this lifetime. It knows the lessons we need to learn and the focus of our current journey. Yes, we all have a reason for living here now. We all have deeply inlaid goals for this life that our physical bodies have set out to experience. Our bodies know these goals. Our bodies are programmed to function, aligned with our soul’s knowledge.

When we step off the path, we become sick, we injure ourselves or we are greeted with a challenge, a closed door or a conflict. We then store negative energy from these experiences within our bodies. We have not been taught how to release much of the pain we encounter. Bodywork in the form of massage, acupressure, rolfing and the like are all methods that can be used to release trapped emotional pain that have settled into our bodies.  However, what would happen if we never stepped off path and chose to stop using our bodies as storage units for negative energy? How would life feel if we could live and walk our true journey, our purpose, without diversion? If we learn to listen to our bodies, this could be possible.

We receive messages throughout each day that help guide us. Many of these notions are ignored. The powerful and logical thinking mind often overrides the subtle nuances of the body. Life is hectic. We are pulled into a hundred different directions. We have deadlines, responsibilities, personal promises to keep and chores to accomplish. How in the midst of all that can we follow our hearts and our physical instincts? What do we do when our intuition tell us to stay home, for example, when we have appointments set all day?  We cannot disappoint.  However, the greatest lesson we can learn is that the only one who ultimately gets disappointed is ourselves.

How would it feel to live life, moving from one project to the next, from event to event, but only if it felt right? How would it feel to have the power to choose your life and the direction it will take? Liberated? Relieved?  Like you can finally exhale? You actually have this power right now. If you do not know where to start, simply turn within yourself and listen closely to your body. This is an art, a skill. Tuning into your body and listening to its messages is like listening to a symphony for the first time. It is masterful, overwhelming, unfamiliar but filled with artful magic that invokes inspiration.

It is definitely possible to tune in to ourselves at any time. Meditation and yoga both help to quiet the mind, allowing us to connect with our bodies and our souls. A regular practice teaches us how to quiet the mind and keep it at rest. There is much literature on meditation. The benefits are well known.  It can instill great peace, purpose and solace. It trains the mind to settle down, to move away from the limelight of our lives. A well-trained mind can be powerful, for having the ability to silence it in the face of angst or suffering is an empowering ability.

However, let us take this discussion a bit further. There is more to the path of personal enlightenment then a yogic mind. We must actually use our physical bodies to guide our way through life.  Our minds can never do that for us no matter how long or often we engage in meditation. We have bodies; we must learn to use them in the way they were divinely meant to be used. We will never be able to rationalize or think our way through life even though we are taught from birth that we can. Those who do often reflect back on a life of regret, feeling unfulfilled like something profound was missed.  Well, it was.

How do we live our lives, choose directions and actions, that will introduce us to our divine life goals? We cannot ignore that we exist in physical form. We have bodies. We must learn to use the body, for it contains more knowledge and power than modern medicine or society has yet to grasp. The connection between our bodies and our spirits is definite. We must turn inward. That is the unequivocal truth.

Within each of us is a road map. Our bodies are spiritually designed to travel along this path. One of the most significant things we can do to find our divine purpose is to listen and to follow the body. Learn to live in the heart.  Follow gut instincts; be guided by intuition. Get out of your head and feel the journey with the energy that exists from the neck down. This is not to say logic is irrelevant. We have complicated reasoning abilities for specific situations. Our brain keeps us alive. It protects us and propels us. However, we need to move the thinking mind out of the driver’s seat. Yes, we will continue to think and logically problem-solve, but we need a shift. We need to do so from the body, the heart and from our intuition. This will guide us towards our soul’s greater destination, our true life purpose.

It is time to live on path.

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