Snacks take up almost half of what we eat in a day. Therefore, it is wise to have healthy options ready. Don’t get me wrong. One of my all-time favorites that will most probably stay in that leading place forever, is still chocolate. The milky kind. However, I know that similarly, like with coffee, it won’t hold me full for long and the crash of energy that follows will be harder then.
But, hey, why not pair a piece of chocolate with a healthy option that is either these next two condiments. You can smear them on bread or an assortment of veggies: my favorite. While you can easily make your own crepes with only 5 ingredients that are:
A cup of non-dairy milk
A cup of spelt flour
A pinch of salt
Coconut oil to bake
I use coconut oil because it doesn’t degrade with heat while it also has a neutral taste and beneficial nutrients.
Here are two condiments that change the taste of every meal and make it into one from a 5-star restaurant.
The first one is pesto. I love it for so many reasons. The first being the smell of fresh basil that screams nothing but summer. Simply bring it together with olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, some nuts—pine nuts work in perfect harmony with basil. But, if you don’t have them, walnuts will do the job. Then, you can always add garlic, lemon juice, and other spices—also parmesan cheese if you’re into it. But I like to keep it simple for starters and add other ingredients in later.
The second is hummus. I was even at the seaside the other day and didn’t have the luxury of a blender. I simply put together two handfuls of chickpeas, a spoonful of tahini, the same amount of olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, and red paprika. I mashed them all together with a fork and voila, dinner was served next to some fresh veggies. So easy, yet so intricate and filling in taste.
Let your imagination play its part when you’re pairing foods together. You can always bake some sunflower seeds and get additional healthy fats from there or you can pair hummus with avocado and a cucumber. There’s nothing better than fresh produce from the home garden that brings summer vibes to any season of the year. Moreover, bell peppers and tomatoes are the two most common at our table. But, as I said, run your imagination wild, add some sweet mango, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and let the combination caress your taste.
Who still says healthy is complicated? I find it the easiest things there is. Plus, simple tastes give you so many options of pairings and you can create full meals from those. Eating healthily leaves you light after meals, keeps your metabolism in check, allows your system to absorb more nutrients from it, and, depending on the type of food, works beneficially to your brain and health in general. When you’re performing at your optimal level, you normally feel content and happy. And, if that’s not the version of you that boosts your own confidence and uplifts others around you as well, I don’t know who is.
One thing that most women don’t usually talk about is how difficult it is to deal with monthly menstrual periods. The symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) differ from one woman to another. But one thing is for sure, it is painful. The agonizing pain affects not only a woman’s physical functioning but it also affects her emotions.
Abdominal cramps, tenderness of breasts and headaches are just some of the physical challenges a woman has to face days before her actual menstrual period. Add irritability and mood swings due to pain and hormonal changes and you’ll surely have a blast of uncontrollable anger.
Ease It Out!
Yoga is known for its natural remedies to common ailments. Yoga’s natural solution to help relieve PMS can save you a lot of ouches and tears. Here are some of uncountable yoga poses that’ll surely end your suffering! Make sure to watch this informative video about yoga and cramps as well!
Child Pose/ Balasana
This pose stretches the lower back and releases tensions on the back of neck and hips.
- Start by planting your hands parallel to shoulders and your knees hip width apart.
- Send your hips back and allow your forehead to touch the ground while your torso rests on your thighs.
- Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths in this position.
Cat/ Cow Stretch
The movement simultaneously stretches both the back and front of the body, relaxing any tensed muscle, easing out cramps.
- Begin with your hands and knees on the ground.
- Inhale, curve your back down, bringing the shoulder blades closer while keeping your gaze upward.
- Exhale, round your back as you push through the shoulders, bringing the shoulder blades away from each other while your gaze is fixed on your belly.
- This is on round of full stretch.
- Do 7-10 rounds while breathing deeply.
Fish Pose/ Matsyasana
Fish pose stretches the whole front of body, stimulating internal organs and releasing tensions on neck and abdominal muscles.
- Start by lying on your back with legs together.
- Place your palms under your thighs, facing the ground.
- Inhale and push through your elbows to lift your body off the ground while your head remains grounded, forming an arch.
- Avoid putting pressure on your head and neck.
- Your back should hold strain while the elbows and arms support your weight.
- Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths and lie back down to ground to release.
- Perform Matsyasana for 5 rounds.
Bridge Pose/ Setu Bandasana
This pose relaxes the parasympathetic system in our brain which triggers our fight or flight reflex. It also regulates better flow of blood in the body and releases muscle tension on legs and abdominal region.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the ground hip width apart.
- Place your hand on your side with palms facing the floor.
- Inhale and slowly bring your torso off the floor by pushing through the shoulders.
- Interlace your fingers behind for better support.
- Take 3-5 deep breaths throughout the pose.
- Unclasp your fingers and slowly lie back down to release.
The practice aims to unify the body, mind and spirit in synchronicity to the universe. An individual’s well-being is based on how he/she feels within and the physical practice offers a path to awareness. To be aware of what’s happening within is to be conscious of your reactions. Mindfully dealing with circumstances can ease out unnecessary suffering. It is also very important to wear comfortable clothes – check out these comfy and stylish leggings. Use the practice as a tool to help you feel good inside out. Stay healthy, breathe fully and have fun kicking PMS out of your way!
Savasana is one of the most difficult poses in yoga. Not because of any strenuous twists or bends, but because it requires the body to become fully relaxed. Savasana is performed at the end of a yoga practice and can serve as a starting point for meditation. The traditional Savasana pose is done while lying on the back. The practitioner lies flat on their back with arms and legs spread out. The palms should face up and the feet relaxed with the toes lying towards the outside of the yoga mat and the heels lying towards the center of the yoga mat. This is where the body comes to the full relaxation and the physical and meditative aspects of yoga intertwine into pure bliss.
Savasana can help relieve mild depression, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. However, these benefits can only be achieved when the mind and body are both completely relaxed. It’s easy to relax the mind and body completely when asleep, but can pose to be a difficult task when awake. The body tends to come to rest a lot easier than the mind. The mind tends to wander thinking about when practice is going to be over or what’s for dinner later that night. Savasana requires conscious surrender. It requires us to stop trying to keep up with the moving world and find peace in the now. It reboots the body and results in a better functioning mind and body. Here are some steps that can be taken to be more successful in Savasana.
Be comfortable. Give the body an environment that it can become completely relaxed in. Bolsters, pillows and blankets can aid in creating a more relaxing environment. A pillow or towel can even be placed over the eyes to help get away from distractions. The more you surrender, the more beneficial this pose will be. If you are a beginner check out this video that demonstrates how to relax.
Take a final breath. Take a deep and long cleansing breath right when you start Savasana. This helps to relax the body further and signals the body to slowly release breath control. A cleansing breath sends a message to the nervous system to relax and just be still.
Locate tension. Mentally go over your body from top to bottom and locate where you are holding tension. Once located, acknowledge the tension and release it. Tension can be released much easier when it is first acknowledged.
Take notice. Take notice in how long you are able to hold Savasana and the difference you feel. Your mind and body feels different when full relaxation is completed than it does when the mind was racing during the pose. Noticing this difference will help for Savasana to be successful more often than not.
It is important to remember that Savasana is a time to rest, not to sleep. Some people have a tendency to fall asleep during this pose, but this means that they will not reap the full benefits. This pose must be taken awake to train the body and mind to come to full and utter relaxation. For more info about Savasana and its benefits visit this blog.
With fat being all the rage in the weight loss community, it’s no wonder we are seeing the stuff in recipes and skin care regimes all over the place. One tablespoon contains 14 grams of saturated fat, which is roughly the recommended amount the average person should be consuming according to the American Heart Association. If you’re concerned with your intake of saturated fats, don’t be alarmed. The fats in coconut oil are metabolized differently from other saturated fats because they contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). For those on a ketogenic diet or who have done a little research are well aware that MCTs can be used as an energy source and can help treat many diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil has even been linked to fat loss and has appetite regulating abilities. Studies have shown that coconut oil can reduce abdominal fat specifically as well as regulate blood sugar.
So you might be thinking, what’s so bad about coconut oil? It seems like there are more pros than cons. Clearly, this is a source of pure fat and as anything in life, practicing moderation is key. If you think about it, coconut oil is a processed oil similar to olive oil. While going for whole, minimally processed foods should be at the core of any healthy eating regime, adding in a teaspoon or two of coconut oil won’t hurt. Whenever possible, getting your fat source from avocados, nuts and olives is always best.
Aside from the amazing health benefits, coconut oil should be avoided in some situations. According to some health experts, coconut oil can wreak havoc on the good bacteria in your digestive system if you don’t consume plenty of vegetables. Coconut oil has a tendency to take the bad bacteria in your gut and transfer it into your bloodstream. Without eating enough fiber from vegetables, this will have negative consequences on your body.
Coconut oil can help burn fat as mentioned but it can put on the pounds as well. Just because it’s a health food, it doesn’t mean its void of calories. Coconut oil like all fats is calorically dense and if you are overconsuming calories from any food, you will gain weight. Simply monitor portion sizes and you can still reap the benefits.
Consuming too much coconut oil or any oil for that matter can also cause digestive issues. The liver can only process so much at a time and every one’s bodies are different. You might have a more sensitive stomach and need to air on the side of caution. The overall recommended healthy intake to see the greatest benefits is one to two tablespoons per day. As far as using it as a moisturizer or for hair conditioning, go nuts!
Yoga is a spiritual connection; it helps in realization of one’s ability and talents that one has. It makes you live a healthy and balanced life. There many types of yoga, here is a brief list that will help you choose the one that suits you most.
This is a deep connection of the spirit and the world, this is where you find people have a passion of drawing and others may have the passion of singing. In past decades India practiced Kundalini in their culture, this helped in making people realize what they were best at and excelled in it. In the present day, this type of yoga is taught as a lesson so that people may realize what gift they have personally and how to use it.
It helps people open up to their problems, this can be something one encountered or lived with for years. Through this yoga, they get to share with Anusara teacher who helps them overcome their fears. This helps people change their experiences and live better lives than they lived before. Anusara yoga helps people to accept what happened to them and adopt to new life.
For people who want to start yoga, hatha yoga is the best one to start with, reason being that you get to learn how to pose and the sequences to follow. Hatha prepares your mind, body and spirit to meditation.
It’s done in hot or a steamed place which helps your muscles to loosen and help you to lose weight through sweat.
This yoga follows an order in which people pose the same way, most people in the western countries practice this yoga because it’s makes our body more flexible and fit.
Helps in cleansing and strengthening the body. Through this people are able to get healing from physical wound and emotional pains, Forrest yoga heals abdominal pain and in return strengthen the body through the physical exercises taught. By having time to breathe quite air, it makes one release the emotional challenges one might be having.
It simply means having one pose for some time. This makes the body and mind adopt to change and manage any challenge that may come along the way. This yoga is good for people who get upset easily or people who are impatient. It make you become more relaxed and more encouraged of any circumstance that comes along.
This is a combination of Ashtanga yoga, kundalini and hatha yoga. This helps everyone discover the power in them and practice it to the best of their ability. Vini yoga helps one to identify their present situation, how to cope with it and how to handle it in future. It helps people set goals for the future.
It mostly involves seating and stretching your body when seated. It makes your body healthier since the muscles are well exercised. It helps your body withstand a long time of delay maybe traffic jam or standing for a long time.