Archive for May, 2014
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Take It Or Leave It: What Do You Think About The Latest Health Trends?
It happens to the best of us. Some days just don’t go as planned and it seems your mood is to blame. Perhaps you’ve experienced moments, minutes, or hours, when you are just in a funk or have a case of the grumpies for no reason at all. Would you believe me if I told you that choosing certain foods could actually improve your mood?
One of the most well-known pieces of dietary advice is to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day, but I think we should start a new campaign. This campaign would be designed to help the overwhelming percentage of the population in need of stress reduction, spirit rejuvenation, and increased energy.
As a firm believer in the concept that “food is medicine”, let me suggest five foods that have been known to act as natural anti-depressant, mood boosting, anti-oxidant packed substances! Here we go…
GRAPES. No denying that many people would prefer to relax with a glass of wine as their drink of choice after a long, hard day, but grapes actually do help you to relax on many levels. Oxidative stress, the form of stress caused by free radicals in the body, can have a damaging effect on the brain. Grapes, however, have been found to counteract the free radical damage and relax blood vessels. Rather than waiting for the evening to arrive so you can enjoy your wine, try to add grapes earlier on in your day to help you flow freely, letting the hours pass without unnecessary stress.
KALE. Most know that leafy greens are a healthy addition to the diet, but perhaps you didn’t realize that kale is nutrition powerhouse among the leafy green family. Did you realize that while you are helping to detoxify the body, you are also “detoxifying” the mind? Kale is rich in carotenoids, known to boost moods and lead to a brighter outlook on life. The relationship between carotenoids and mood is a bit unclear, but a recent Harvard School of Public health study suggests that the beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, the powerful nutrients found in kale, are associated with increased optimism in mid-life adults.
WALNUTS. Walnuts may be a great addition to brownies, salads, and oatmeal because of the taste and texture this nut provides, but walnuts are much more powerful than you may have realized. A brain “on walnuts” is a happy brain. This particular nut is packed with antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, causing it to act as a powerful mood enhancing food. Rich in magnesium, walnuts boost serotonin levels, causing brain cells to fire the neurons that result in a better mood and an uplifted spirit.
GREEK YOGURT. Having gained popularity over the last few years, this yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics. This creamy yogurt not only boosts your immune system due to the healthy bacteria that your gut craves, but it also has been shown to boost your outlook on life. Greek yogurt elevates dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that help to alleviate depression. In addition, the calcium found in dairy has been shown to reduce irritability, helping you to turn that frown upside down and have a happy day.
SALMON. Proper nourishment of the brain is high priority to keep stress at bay and sail through your day. Optimal brain function requires properly nourishing your body with the right nutrient building blocks, including omega-3 fats. These “healthy” fats are an essential addition to help boost your mood. Consider that the brain is 60% fat, so show your brain some love and add in omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in salmon among other fatty fish, to alleviate depression and somber moods.
Ready to eat your way to a better day? How about this…find this kale and avocado salad recipe. Make a creamier version of the salad dressing listed by tossing in some greek yogurt. Then toss with some sliced grapes and walnuts. Add a side of salmon for an omega-3 fatty acid protein source, and tell me all about how your day unfolds. Now how’s that for fuel for your body, mind, and spirit?
Stacey Frattinger currently resides in Sparks, NV, working part-time as a Licensed Clinical Dietitian, as well as running her own health coaching practice. Because of her love for learning, she views each experience in life as an opportunity for growth. Stacey’s virtual integrative health coaching practice called Whispers for Wellness, allows her to live in alignment with her passion for helping you discover your own formula for health and wellness without rigid rules to follow or fad approaches. Her greatest hope is that you will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the life changing process that coaching creates. If you aren’t interested in coaching, you may find value in her blogs to enhance your personal growth and development. To read more about Stacey’s background, coaching philosophy, and the services offered, please visit whispersforwellness.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @StaceyWhispers, or Facebook at WhispersforWellness,LLC.
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Wellness Wednesday: Good Mood Foods
What is metabolism? Metabolism is the total of all chemical reactions in the body–all molecules and hormones that are responsible for burning calories and regulating weight. Our eating behavior, stress levels, quality of food, bio-individuality, changes in our environment and physical activity all effects the way we metabolize food.
What are some common metabolism killers?
Inflammation: Inflammation is a cutting edge word these days in the area of nutrition and obesity. More and more research shows the direct link between obesity, disease and inflammation. Being overweight promotes inflammation and inflammation promotes obesity creating a never ending cycle.
Free Radicals: Free radicals in the body slow down your metabolism by inhibiting the mitochondria. In addition, inflammation, processed foods, trans fats, sugars, and heavy metals also damage mitochondria function. Mitochondria combine the calories you consume with oxygen and turn them into energy… So if they are damaged it causes a reduction in the metabolic power of the mitochondria and the ability to burn calories.
Thyroid: The main role of the thyroid is to stimulate metabolism. It is one of the top 3 hormones along with insulin and cortisol that control your weight and metabolism.
Toxicity: Toxins from within our bodies and toxins from the environment both contribute to obesity. Getting rid of toxins and boosting your natural detoxification system are essential for long term weight loss and a healthy metabolism. Toxins interfere with the thyroid hormone levels, slowing down metabolism as well as inhibiting the mitochondria again slowing metabolism. Toxins also block the hormone leptin that tells your body you are full. So this can increase your appetite.
Certain foods can help increase your metabolism. Here are 10 of our favorites…
1. Omega-3s. Daily salmon or fish oil controls fat metabolism and calms inflammation. They also help combat depression.
2. Sea Vegetables. Contains abundant minerals and iodine which nourish the thyroid function and detoxify the body.
3. Spirulina. An excellent whole food source of fat burning GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) and provides a very usable source of protein.
4. Flax Seeds. High in omega-3’s and soluble fiber. They will not only help you rev up your metabolism, but keep you feeling full so you eat less.
5. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is made up of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that supports a healthy metabolism. It’s also a powerful thyroid booster and helps to increase energy. Read more about coconut oil’s amazing benefits.
6. Raw Cacao. High in magnesium to relax the stressed body and the highest antioxidant food to fight free radicals.
7. Probiotics. Replenish good bacteria in the gut and help to calm inflammation. Fermented foods such as keifer, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso are great sources of probiotics.
8. B Complex Vitamins. Help to detoxify body of excess cortisol and balance your mood.
9. Leafy Greens. Detoxify the body and rich in Vitamin A which helps with thyroid function.
10. Brazil Nuts. Highest dose of selenium which nourishes the thyroid, protects from free radicals (only need 2 a day!).
More here –
10 Metabolism Boosting Weapons
There’s no better way to kick off summer than with a big old Memorial Day Cookout! Cocktails, apps, grilling, friends and hopefully a nice sunny day–it doesn’t get much better. Enjoy this simple, yet sophisticated cookout menu + have a wonderful holiday!
Watermelon + Feta Salad with Balsamic Drizzle
Pesto Pasta Salad
Corn on the Cob with Truffle + Asiago
Berry Crisp a la Mode
And guess what! There’s still two days left of our Memorial Day Chip + Dip Giveaway!
Enter to Win.
A Memorial Day Cookout for the Foodie
By: Sasha Nelson for Hyde Yoga
Wellness is spreading like wildfire. Green juice has become a supermarket/social media staple, and people are realizing the importance of consciousness toward the environment, the food we eat, and the way we live. Yoga fits into this modern mindfulness matrix perfectly, even though some argue that this “trend” can discredit the integrity of what the asana practice and yoga as a whole is really about. Others could defend that, beyond the fancy poses we see on Instagram and the wide-spread craze of the yoga pant, the popularity of yoga itself is an obvious representation of the benefits of this practice (whether or not yoga students at your local gym know what the sutras are).
Experienced yogi or beginner student – the physical yoga practice is an excellent way to get in shape and feel great in any season. We know this because the results are all literally over the place, right in front of our face – everyone wants a piece of the asana pie. What newbies may be unaware of when they first step onto the mat is the beauty of the benefits of this practice beyond sculpting Madonna arms: experiencing unity and oneness (or sama, sameness), discovering physical and mental spaciousness, the ability to see yourself in others (and vice versa – the meaning of namaste), finding a silver lining within an undesirable experience (pratipaksha bhavana), noticing how and when you react to things, discerning between pain and discomfort, employing mindfulness in every moment, and so on. Who knew you were scoring so big when you first learned how to do a downward facing dog?
Needless to say, yoga and nutrition go hand in hand. When we are on that zenned-out yoga high post-practice, it’s natural to want your treat your body to something that will make you feel good as opposed to greasy, processed foods. One of the many reasons Hyde loves Purely Elizabeth is because they use clean, wholesome ingredients that are environmentally conscious – similar to our use of organic cotton. We love supporting these like-minded brands because we are all part of the same purpose – we genuinely care about the environment and the wellbeing of our customers, whether that be through our yoga practice, what we put in our mouths, what we wear, or how we find peace of mind.
Both Hyde and Purely Elizabeth started with an idea, and we’ve been growing ever since. All it takes is that first initial interest and an openness to whatever comes up as one continues down the wellness road. We’re all on different paths, yet (as yoga reminds us) we’re all one. So whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just starting; whether you’re a bona fide foodie or want to start eating healthier, follow these simple yoga and lifestyle tips to feel amazing throughout summer and onward:
Eat whole, nourishing foods. Shop the outer aisles for fresh fruits and veggies, and buy organic whenever possible. Look for brands with a few simple, clean ingredients throughout the inner aisles. For a summer breakfast/snack, we are obsessed with Purely Elizabeth granola with coconut milk or yogurt and berries. Yum.
Practice surya namaskar A & B (sun salutations) 5-7 times per week (or moon salutations for a gentler approach). Be aware of things like how your body moves, the quality of your breath, where your mind wanders off to, the alignment of the posture, etc. If yoga isn’t your thing, enjoy your favorite activity – move your body!
Without judging yourself, notice how and when you react to things. When something happens that upsets you, try counting to ten before you react.
Find quiet moments to sit still and simply breathe, focusing on non other than your inhale and exhale.
Make space for fun moments to play outdoors, detached from judgement, allowing yourself to move and express yourself freely (remember running through the sprinklers as a kid?).
Be mindful of the brands you put your dollars towards, and support the local, sustainable companies that resonate with you.
Do what you love, and smile often (even when you feel like you can’t)!
During your physical practice, whether that means yoga or running or knitting, try to remain as present as possible in every moment. Notice the way you move, breath, if your brain wanders, if and when judgement comes up, and so on. Incorporate this mindfulness within your summer activities.
Pack Hyde yoga gear when you travel to remind yourself there’s always time to practice your favorite physical activity, even if it’s just stretching in your hotel room. Our jojo shorts and brooklyn halter are a popular summer combo.
Always come back to the present moment to make the most of the sunshine, outdoor activities, and all that summer has to offer.
Enjoy a Yoga Discount from Hyde!
Use code “purelyhyde” at checkout for 15% OFF HYDE YOGA GEAR when you shop online.
>> Shop Hyde.
Namaste, and happy summer.
Meet Sasha Nelson.
Sasha Nelson is a yoga instructor, certified health coach, dancer, and music lover based in Brooklyn, NY. She works with individuals who seek to balance wellness within their modern lifestyle, and teaches primarily vinyasa-style yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan. A former Fashion Merchandising MFA graduate from Academy of Art University, she now works for Brooklyn-based Hyde organic yoga apparel. When you don’t find her doing any of these things she is experimenting in the kitchen, poppin’ and lockin’, and practicing Breakti®. For more information, visit sashayogawellness.com.
Stay in touch for easy, healthy, tasty recipes, plus simple wellness + lifestyle tips:
Twitter: @sashayoga, Pinterest: @sashayoga, Instagram: @sashayogawellness
Twitter: @hydeyoga, Instagram: @hydeyoga, Pinterest: @hydeyoga
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Tips on Yoga + Health for a Rejuvenating Transition into Summer
Are you a blogger of food, nutrition, health, wellness and/or fitness? Join our team and help us spread the word about eating and living purely!
The ideal Purely Blogger is an active blogger, who is social media savvy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. A MUST for our bloggers is that they share our passion for fitness, health, wellness and clean eating!
As a Purely Blogger, you will receive quarterly deliveries of Purely Elizabeth products and sneak peek samples of new products. You will gain exposure to our audience via social media love, guest blog posts and through various other marketing collaborations. All of our Purely Bloggers are featured on our website with a bio and links to the blogger’s sites!
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We’ve got the chips + dip covered for your Memorial Day cookout! All week long you can enter to win 3 bags of Sea Salt Chips from Rhythm Superfoods + 3 jars of salsa from White Girl Salsa.
Rhythm Superfoods: Sea Salt Superfood Chips
The nutritionally dense and naturally delicious Sea Salt Superfood Chips are made with a super veggie base containing sweet potato, carrot and broccoli, cut into perfect squares for dipping. These delicious baked superfood chips are gluten-free, non-GMO and have 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 15 whole grains per serving.
Connect: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
White Girl Salsa: Hot Tomatillo, Smokey Chipotle + Cranberry Mango
Vibrant, tomatillo-based blends that are fresh, sassy, and just a bit spicy. In each variety, tomatillo, cilantro, and lime come together for some flavorful fun without the preservatives and fillers. White Girl Salsa’s zesty, gourmet flavors are the perfect addition to your cookout spread, whether you’re scooping it onto a salty chip or topping off your grilled entrees.
Connect: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
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Memorial Day Chip + Dip Giveaway
Hello spring! Spruce up your morning parfait with this refreshing combo–yogurt, raspberry jam, blackberries, Cranberry Pecan Granola + mint. We promise you’ll have an extra skip in your step for the rest of the day.
>> For more of our favorite breakfast recipes.
Blackberry Mint Parfait
Happy Wellness Wednesday! This week Anna Wootton, an emotional eating expert, shares with us how to avoid reaching for food to quell emotions, stress or even boredom.
We’ve all been there – whether it’s the clichéd tub of ice cream after a break-up, or simply a mindless reaching for that bag of chips when you’re bored, or heading to the food court after a disheartening session of trying on swimsuits (news flash: this will always be disheartening, no matter what size you are. Change-room lights are no one’s friend!).
Emotional eating is ever present and will always pop up from time to time in your life. We can all aim to be perfect and to realize that yes, food is meant as fuel and can be pleasurable in fueling us, but should not be used to feed anything else – emotions or otherwise – but this is not always realistic. Chances are there will be times when you reach for that bar of dark chocolate because you need a pick me up, even though you’re not that hungry.
The aim is not to be perfect, but to prevent these small and infrequent occurrences from taking over and becoming the norm, to the point where your brain immediately turns to thought of food whenever it needs comfort, relief or distraction. This is when emotional eating becomes a problem. So how do we stop this from happening?
Below I have listed FIVE WAYS to raise awareness of your eating habits and make smart choices that will prevent you from relying on food as a mental or emotional crutch.
1. Avoid foods that don’t serve you. Whether you believe sugar really is addictive or just plain tasty, studies have been done that show it’s hard to stop when we get on the sugar train. Limiting the amount of processed and simple sugars in our diet will help break the sugar cycle. It’s hard enough to avoid reaching for foods when we’re feeling sad (and sugar is the first one we will crave because it gives us that little boost or ‘high’ that can make us feel instantly happier), but reaching for a food that only encourages you to keep eating will make your efforts feel that much harder. On a similar note, avoid any foods you have an intolerance to, however slight. Research has suggested that foods we cannot tolerate well may be the foods we crave the most. If you struggle with gluten, dairy, corn, or other common food sensitivities, try to avoid them as much as possible.
2. Focus on dealing with your emotions as soon as they arise. Identify your triggers – most people have a few. Some will reach for food when they feel angry or irritated, others when their self-esteem is at its low point, others when they feel stressed or anxious. When you can focus on your triggers, you can spot those emotions as soon as they arise, and deal with them right away. Nipping them in the bud will prevent the next step – reaching for food. It’s when we push our emotions down and try to ignore them that our mind will try to find a release in other ways – drinking, eating, smoking, you name it. Addressing the fact that we are experiencing a negative emotion and – even better – giving ourselves a chance to release that emotion in a healthy, constructive way will help us to avoid the need to distract our mind from these feelings with things like food. Try journaling or meditation, even just 10 minutes a day, or talking to a friend as soon as you feel insecurity, anxiety, anger, sadness, or any other negative emotion bubble up.
3. Keep a list of healthy snacks on hand. While it’s easy to imagine ways to come up with healthy and balanced meals, snack options are often just disguised desserts which only encourage unnecessary snack binges. To avoid temptation, keep a list of ten healthy, go-to snacks for you to turn to when you feel hunger knocking at your door. Try to include a healthy fat or protein in each snack so that you can stay satiated for longer and keep your blood sugar more stable, which will help resist the urge to reach for sugary items.
4. Let food be thy medicine. If you want to turn to food for relief, rather than being ‘tricked’ by the foods that give quick relief but don’t serve you nutritionally, turn to foods that can help. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint or ginger are relaxing and soothing for mind and body. If you’re feeling overly fatigued or depressed, throw some superfoods like maca powder, spirulina or camu camu powder into a green smoothie and let the effects of the fresh fruit and veggies and superfoods provide the physical and mental energy boost you need. This is an especially useful tactic if you are already starting to struggle with emotional eating, as your mind is no doubt preoccupied with food when emotions hit. This way you can work on slowly changing your mind’s reliance on food, while in the meantime channelling it into healthy food choices.
5. Remember: No one’s perfect. The key is to always forgive yourself. The punishing cycle of guilt and self-loathing because you ‘fell off the wagon’ only perpetuates the cycle. No one is benefiting from you sitting on the couch berating yourself for your lack of willpower or your ‘weakness’ for having eaten more cookies than you intended. Even those who have never struggled with disordered eating of any kind will make poor choices – it’s part of being human. Just laugh it off, forgive yourself and remember that a few bad choices do not make a bad person.
Emotional eating is always a sign of something troubling going on beneath the surface, something that needs addressing and dealing with but is being ignored. Looking deep within ourselves to identify the root of these issues is absolutely key to banishing emotional eating once and for all. This can sound depressing and scary, so in my eight-week Life is About FUN, Not Food! emotional eating program, I focus on using positivity and light to make this process less intimidating and more enlightening, fun and exciting! For more on this group coaching program – which can be purchased as a self-study program at more than 70% off the regular price – click here.
Anna Wootton is a holistic health coach and emotional eating expert who offers group and one-on-one coaching online. With clients all over the world, sessions are completed via video chat with email support. Anna is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and blogs over at Your Healthy Place. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and like her page on Facebook to keep up with her latest goings-on. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive her free ebook, 5 Fabulous Ways to Live a Life About FUN, Not Food!
5 Ways to Prevent Emotional Eating from Taking Over
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