Trying Out Rain Soul

I’ve been taking Rain Soul seed supplement for a week or so now. They say the benefits of taking these seeds help maintain healthy joints, immune system, cardiovascular system, as well as neutralize free radicals (I’m still not sure what free radicals are, but I’m happy to neutralize them).

 

 

It’s too early for me to tell if this product accomplishes all of the above, but I can confirm that I definitely feel more energy during the day. I have a month supply, so I’ll re-evaluate then. For now, more energy is a thumbs up for me.

Yerba Mate Tea Trend

I’m a constant tea drinker and am always open to trying new teas. The latest and greatest “super” tea seems to be Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate is said to:

  • Have multiple antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids
  • Increase energy (as it has more caffeine than most teas, but still less than coffee)
  • Aids in digestion
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves mental function/concentration

Sounds good to me….until I tried it. The taste of Yerba Mate reminded me of tree bark combined with smoke. It is not a tea I could drink on it’s own. After a few failed concoctions, I finally found a way to drink this wonder tea. Combine it with Mint Tea. The mint completely overpowers the Yerba Mate. Drink on!

Drinkable Yerba Mate:

  • 1 Yerba Mate tea bag
  • 1 Mint tea bag
  • Stevia (optional)

Product Recommendations

Here’s three products I’m loving.

Olema Rose Wine. So good and reasonably priced at $14.

 

Native Deodorant. Native contains no aluminum, smells great, and works better than any other deodorant I’ve tried.

 

Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self. This book provides a perfect introduction to yoga including workbook style prompts to help you be the best you.

Yoga Benefits

I’m almost 2 months into my yoga routine, Kundalini yoga to be specific. Do I feel better? For sure. Kundalini yoga focuses a lot on the spine. My back feels more flexible and in return my whole body feels more pliable.  In general, I feel lighter mentally and physically. Take a look below at 15 possible benefits you can have from yoga.

yoga-workout-for-beginners

Calm

Stress is an inevitable part of life, however being able to monitor it with breath and introspection can change the outcome of many situations. Ideally stress will begin to subside with the tools discovered in yoga.

Strength

Over time the body will become stronger and yoga poses will feel much more accessible. Discovering body awareness and incorporating appropriate cues from instructors can take a practice to another level. Yoga will never be easy, however the body builds up strength to support the practice in time. Certain daily activities that felt difficult before will get easier. Activities such as walking up stairs, balancing to put on shoes or picking up children can become less challenging.

Weight loss

Although many people do not initially turn to yoga for weight loss, it is a surprising bonus. The pure and detoxifying feeling the body experiences after practice sends people in a healthier direction. The body begins to crave nutritious foods and denies heavy meals.   

Happiness

Learning tools to incorporate breathing and body awareness into scenarios that are mentally or physically demanding will change the outcome of many situations. Letting go of self-medication with food, alcohol, or prescription drugs is difficult. However in minor cases, replacing self-medication with yoga can help. The residual buzz from a yoga practice can deliver some of the happiness people struggle to find.

Change

Releasing things that no longer serve or fulfill are some of the first steps toward change. Like-minded individuals, and better decision-making replace toxic relationships, negative friends, and harmful environments.

Diet

Some people have been known to try vegan or vegetarianism at least once. There are teachers that promote non-harming and compassion to living beings with emphasis on a plant based diet. Some bodies can handle not having meat while other bodies need it. The best advice is to do what fits for the individual. What works for one, may not work for all. Ask a doctor if uncertainty arises with diet.

Posture

Many of the postures in yoga strengthen the spine and the muscles surrounding the spine. The majority of the work is to maintain a tall spine in each pose. A great yoga class will train the practitioner to take daily habits such as a hunched over body out of the practice. Overtime, students will learn techniques on how to carry the body in everyday life. Some yoga poses and classes strengthen the abdominals, which improve the posture quite a bit.

Confidence

There are so many poses and ideologies in yoga that make the practice a lifelong journey. There is always another variation to achieve or a style to discover. One of the most gratifying feelings is when accomplishing a posture that seemed so difficult in the past. Noticing changes in the body and advancement in the practice gives a person that confidence they may have been searching for. Whether it is an inversion/arm balance or holding plank pose for an extended period of time, these small achievements ignite a positive sense of self.

Mindfulness

Bringing attention to areas of a person’s life that may have gone unnoticed in the past is the first step toward mindfulness. Maybe its deciding to stop wearing high heals, or forgoing the pain medication for small aches and pains, or possibly holding back on negative thinking. Maybe it’s noticing how many chips are consumed in one sitting or how the body is sitting while eating those chips. Shedding light on these little moments that are overlooked so often can change how life is lived in a positive way.

Flexibility

In time, tight muscles will release. That stiff and achy feeling when getting out of bed or right into downward facing dog won’t be as common. All bodies are different. Some people are extremely flexible and hypermobile, while other’s bone structure won’t allow for a super flexible practice. Finding the appropriate flexibility for each body type is the healthier way to think about it. Forcing or pushing the body to become flexible like the person on the neighboring mat is not a safe decision. It is extremely important to balance that flexibility with strength.

Obsession

The yoga practice can become addictive because of the mental relief it offers practitioners. Yoga is a lifetime practice with so many different postures, variations, and lineages. Some people practice intensely on a consistent basis to achieve their goals faster. This is when injury occurs. Many people learn the hard way and ultimately realize that a safe, strong practice will result in longevity of the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Body awareness

Depending on which route is traveled in the yoga world; learning about the body is an incredible discovery. How often does a person cross their legs every time they sit, with the same leg over? Understanding how body patterns and daily routine can affect well-being is tremendous.

Clarity

Life can be very hectic and stressful with to-do lists and priorities. The mind eventually becomes cluttered putting up roadblocks in our path to clarity. The physical yoga practice is helpful with clearing the mind, however the meditative aspects of yoga can change thoughts drastically. A daily meditation practice is known to clear the mind and bring clarity to situations in which we feel limited.

Self Inquiry

Depending on the person, there will be interest in becoming a yoga instructor. Even if teaching isn’t the goal, some become certified to understand the practice on a deeper level. Spirituality is a huge part of the path of yoga. Studying yogic philosophy or reading up on spiritual teachings can help. Learning more about who you are as a person is a growth process unlike anything else.

Love

I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back.”- Arthur Rubinstein. Learning to move through life from a place of love is one of the best feelings in the world. Whether it is love for one’s own body, other people, or the love of life in itself, positive outcomes normally result in this way of thinking.

Yoga can turn a person’s world upside-down, literally and figuratively. Diving into a yoga practice in order to gain wisdom, peace, and physical strength is one of life’s best-kept secrets. As time goes on, life will continue to change for the better with the help of a little thing called yoga.

 

via yogaclub.com

A Liquid Life

I have a drinking problem. Not alcoholic, but healthful. Is it possible to get out of control with daily healthy drinks? I’m beginning to wonder and so is my sloshing stomach Here is my daily consumption:

Warm water with lemon OR Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Morning Smoothie (including a plethora of powders)

 

Green Tea (probably 2-3 cups)

 

Then later I have my daily bottle of homemade Kombucha

 

A bottle of Topo Chico (carbonated mineral water)

 

A cup of Matcha with almond milk

 

More tea throughout the late afternoon/evening

 

And I’m thinking of starting a late night cup of Golden Milk (Turmeric benefits)

 

 

Stop Stressing with Adaptogen Herbs

Adaptogens are a class of plants used for their healing abilities of balancing, restoring, and protecting your body as a whole. Adaptogens were granted their name because of their distinctive ability to ‘adapt’ their function according to your body’s needs. An adaptogen does not have a specific action, nor target a certain body region, rather it benefits the body as a whole, being able to respond to any influence or stressor that it needs to.

These rejuvenating plants improve and recharge the health of your adrenal glands, counteracting the harmful effects of stress. Cells are accessed more energy and the ability to eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process to help the body use oxygen more efficiently. More cellular energy in combination with boosting the adrenal glands strengthens the body’s ability to cope with stress, anxiety, and fatigue – calming you down and boosting you up simultaneously.

While prescription drugs remain in your system and influence multiple organs, once an adaptogen has completed its job, those herbs are eliminated or absorbed into the body without any side effects. Adaptogens work slowly and gently, contrasting the instantaneous gratification of the caffeine cycle, you must be patient because they work subtly but the benefits are undeniable and long lasting.

via Chalkboardmag.com

Examples of Adaptogen herbs: Ashwagandha; Red Ginseng; Holy Basil; Rhodiola Rosea

Meet Fred-My New Scoby

This is Fred. He’s a scoby (bacteria) that is used to make Kombucha.

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Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that dates WAY back to China and Russia. It has scads of health benefits such as probiotics, detox, improves digestion, alkalizes the body, etc. I recently ordered a Kombucha starter kit from getkombucha.com. Here’s Fred feasting on some sugared tea. He’s at the bottom of the jar and his newly made offspring is at the top (Fred Jr. I guess).

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After about 16 days, I did a taste test and checked the ph and it was all signs Go! Next, I bottled the tea in individual jars straining out all the Fred bits. I will leave them in the pantry for two more days to get carbonation.

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Next step is¨”Cheers”! Fred’s back in freshly brewed tea to start the process again.  This second batch I will be experimenting with flavors, especially ginger since that is my favorite store bought Kombucha. Side note: Kombucha is not cheap here in Mexico. I will have paid for my kit with the second batch, and then it’s a free lifelong supply.

Spend Time Not Money

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I live thousands of miles away from my family and close friends. I miss them dearly and the best gift for us to give is time. But I think this applies to everyone,  whether you live in the same city or not. Take a day, a lunch, or an hour to give to a person that you love. Turn off the cell phone,  reminisce, laugh,   and be “present”.

Hormone Balancer- Maca Root

Maca root is the newly mainstream natural way to help keep those menopausal symptoms in check.  After many failed attempts at HRT via pills, patches, and shots, I’ve decided to take my health into my own hands. I am not 100% my normal self, but I am feeling improvement.  Currently I am taking Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Maca.  Maca root is from Peru and is said to have the health benefits listed below.

1. Vitamins
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.

2. Sexual function
Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility.

3. Women’s health and mood
Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.

image: http://www.vegkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Maca-powder-and-root.jpg

Maca powder and root4. Energy
Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!5. General health
Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.

But be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have liver issues or high blood pressure you should ask your doctor before taking maca.

6. Skin
Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures.

7. Mood balance
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though of the evidence is anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus.

From Vegkitchen.com