If any part of this rings true for you then you are in the right place. To begin your journey to developing all you wish to be, please join our dedicated instructors and teachers for a daily workout, meditation, or lecture whenever and wherever you wish.
Do you sometimes find it hard to stay alert, active, and attentive? You have so much on your plate to think about: school exams, homework, parents, friends, sports practice, band rehearsal, and more. Trying to keep track of all that you have to do can wear you down. Yes, you can gulp down a caffeinated drink or two to stay alert and productive, but what if you can find some other natural remedy to increase your stamina, motivation, and mental activity? (Ok…this might sound like a late-night infomercial you see on TV while you’re cramming for an exam, but hang on, you might find this interesting.) Yoga….yes, yoga…can help boost your energy and give you that mental recharge you need to stay mentally alert and improve overall performance.
Yoga, as you may already know, can improve your flexibility, mobility, your muscle strength and agility, reduce stress and anxiety, and research shows that yoga also can enhance your mind!
You may think that it would take some type of stimulant to recharge your brain. That’s not necessarily the case. A low-intensity and slow-moving exercise like yoga is shown to improve your brain health.
Yoga, which is an ancient philosophy and practice, is seen today in gyms, studios, and community centers where students move through various physical postures and sequences. Poses like Downward Facing Dog, Warrior 2, and Tree Pose are just a few of many yoga poses that not only stimulate the body, but also the brain in very effective ways.
Without getting too technical, practicing any style of yoga triggers a part of the brain that produces a pleasurable emotional response. When this part of the brain activates, there is a significant reduction to a fear or pain response. Further, practicing yoga also heightens mental actions like problem-solving, decision making, mood regulation, and memory due to the direct impact of yoga on your cortex. Why does this work? It has been researched that the combination of breathing and moving has a direct and positive relationship with your brain health.
If you add a simple yoga practice, only 30 minutes per day, can result in a boost in your mindfulness after about 10 weeks. You will notice that studying for an exam is less draining. You’ll remember better, you’ll feel calmer, and even have the mental energy to take on more responsibilities. And because you’ll be performing better mentally, you’ll also see improvements in your mood, getting along better with your friends and parents, and you’ll generally have a more positive outlook on life.
So, you may want to invest in a yoga mat and test this yourself. Getting on the mat to practice a few poses at least once a week will be doing your brain and mental health a very big favor.
At first I had no idea what i would write about, and then as i was sitting here staring at a blank page it hit me.
Let me tell you about where I started, it was around 14 years ago. I looked in the mirror and I had no idea who was staring back at me. Physically, emotionally, mentally ,I had no idea. I did know that I didn’t like the way she looked the way she felt, the way she thought of herself. That was the day I decided I was going to make a change. But where do I start? How do I start? We didn’t have a lot of money then lol( still don’t). Luckily the YMCA worked with people with low incomes. I was able to get a membership there and started going to the gym. I started just on the treadmills as I was too scared to do anything else, and to be honest I had no idea where to start. I knew that I wanted to loose weight…but how? That was the question! I decided that maybe I should start with some classes, it seemed like a good way to get motivated, and I didn’t have to try to figure out what I was doing. I was extremely scared to go into the class, there where a lot of people in there. All of whom seemed to have been doing it for a long time. The instructor of the class was just walking in and asked if I was going to join them. I thought about it and then she something to me that has stuck with me through the years and is something I share with the people who take my classes. ” We are all here for the same common goal”…….isn’t that the truth! The goal is to be better then we where before, to feel better about ourselves, to get stronger. To learn things about ourselves that we didn’t know, things we didn’t know we could do.
So 14 years ago I made a choice, I made the choice to change. Change my thought process, change the way I look the way I felt about myself. I changed the way ate, what I drank, what I did with my time. All of it! Was it easy no way, did I have bad days you betcha! Did I quit….no way! How could I, now not only was I doing it for myself I was doing it for my three little ones that where watching my every move! I learned to love myself, love myself in a way I didn’t think I could. If there is one thing I can tell you it is this, love yourself, love yourself on the bad days, the good day. Love yourself enough to be ENOUGH! Its ok to fail, as long as you get back up and keep going, keep being enough!!
Talk to 10 people and you’ll get 10 different opinions on the best way to get fit. One will tell you to attend an aerobics class.
Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them.The truth is that there’s really only one effective way to get fit. Before I get into the details, it’s important that we agree on the definition of ‘fit’. Too often thin is mistaken for fit, and that’s not what you should strive for.
When someone is thin, but has very little muscle tissue, they aren’t truly fit.
Here’s why thin doesn’t equal fit:
Their body fat percentage will be higher than ideal—even though you won’t see a lot of fat on them, if their muscle percentage is low then fat percentage will be higher.
Their resting metabolism will be low, since little muscle is present to burn calories at rest.
Their body won’t be functionally strong, which will lead to injuries and frustrations.
So how does one get truly fit? It’s this simple: Resistance Training.
Resistance training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. You could do this with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.
Consistent resistance training has the following side effects…
Strength and muscle tone
Speed, Agility and Flexibility
Resistance to injury and disease
If that’s not enough to convince you that resistance training is the only way to truly become fit, then read on…
Top 9 Benefits to Resistance Training
1. To Build Muscle and Gain Strength: Don’t worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you’re going to ‘bulk up’ or look too masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.
2. To Lose Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see go is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat.
3. To Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to osteoporosis.
4. To Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure, there are plenty of pills out there that claim to give these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is more wholesome and effective way. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?
5. To Sleep Better: Here’s another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.
6. To Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of lowered pain.
7. To Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training.
8. To Improve Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?
9. To Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?
A solid resistance training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost.
If you’re ready to begin your body transformation then feel free to reach out to me.
Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!
Do you ever feel like by mid-mornings, afternoons, or even late in the evening you’re extremely hungry, tired, have no energy, feeling light headed, or just can’t concentrate? This could be caused by the foods you’re eating. For example, maybe you ate a healthy breakfast with all the food groups, but your foods could also be high in sugar, with that bowl of sugary cereal & milk, a piece of fruit on the higher scale of glycemic index, & a glass of juice. To much sugars in the foods you’re eating tend to digest faster & can also cause your blood sugar to plummet, so in turn can cause the above symptoms from a “sugar crash”.
Feeling like this can then cause you to grab an unhealthy snack with more sugar. You may feel satisfied for the moment, but wait….it’s not even lunch yet and you’re having another sugar crash! This can tend to repeat all day & everyday and leave you feeling drained by the end of the week! I know, because I’ve been there!
How to avoid a sugar crash
You can avoid a sugar crash by eating a variety of healthy proteins, fiber, carbs, fats & avoiding simple sugar foods. Some examples of these foods are:
Simple Sugar Foods to Avoid or Eat in Moderation: Candy, Soda, Fruit Juices, Desserts, sugary processed foods, White Rice, Pasta (that is not whole wheat), & breads (that is not whole wheat), to name a few.
Lower Glycemic Fruits: ( I thought I’d add some low sugar fruits in as well) Cherries, Apricots, Lemons & Limes, Plumbs, Grapefruit, Peaches, Prunes, & Nectarine’s.
Tips on Eating Healthier
Plan Ahead: Plan & make your meals & snacks ahead of time to avoid that rush of throwing something together at the last minute. This can be a week in advance, a few days in advance each week, or even the night before. You could also start a food log for a week or two and see when you’re getting any sugar crashes and tweak your food choices from there!
Sample Meals & Snacks:
This is my go to breakfast: Homemade Oatmeal, Low Fat Cottage Cheese, Green Apples or Berries Mixed in or on the side. Also if I do one of my Arbonne Protein Shakes with sugar free Almond Milk, I’ll add Kale or spinach & berries into it as well. (Greens for breakfast? Yes…It’s actually really good & healthy!)
Snacks: Raw nuts & Fruit, Carrots & Hummus, or a Brown Rice Cake with Almond Butter.
Lunch: Chicken Breast Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread & loaded with Avocado, Cucumber, Tomatoes, & Spinach, paired with a piece of fruit. (Instead of mayo, I smash up the avocado instead for the spread)
Dinner: Pasta Bolognese: Ingredients- Ground Turkey, 2 TBSP Olive Oil, 1 Lg Onion Chopped, 2 Stalks of Celery Diced, 1 Carrot Chopped, 3-4 Whole Canned Tomatoes (no salt), 2 Cloves of Garlic minced, 1 TSP salt & dash of pepper, 1 TSP Dried Thyme, 1 1/3 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth, 10-12 OZ of Brown Rice Pasta or Whole Grain Pasta.
*Saute onion , celery, & carrot in 1 tbsp of olive oil, until onion is translucent. Brown the ground turkey (drain) & add to onion mixture. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, & thyme. Cover & simmer for about 20 min, stirring occasionally. In the meantime cook the pasta according to package directions.
Serve with a side salad with lots of colorful veggies & low fat dressing! Enjoy!
I know this was long, but I hope the bit of information I gave out was helpful and to understand why we feel the way we do from a sugar crash and how to fix it long term.
I was given my first pressure cooker in the early 1990s and could hardly wait to start cooking in it. My mother cooked roasts and other meat-based dishes in her pressure cooker; she also canned foods that my parents raised in their garden. But as a vegetarian, I hardly knew where to begin. I was living at the time in midtown Manhattan and immediately made a beeline for Barnes and Noble. It was my great fortune to discover Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass (retitled and available as Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen). You can find a number of her cookbooks on her Amazon Author page. I fell in love with a number of recipes in her book and have used it as a source for lots of great plant-based dishes ever since. Her recipe for Ful Medames is my absolute favorite!
A Little History
Ful Medames is an ancient Egyptian dish usually made with fava beans. Even though I’d never heard of it, I liked the short list of ingredients and the simplicity of the recipe. Since I didn’t have fava beans, I made it with black-eyed peas as Dr. Sass suggested. I immediately fell in love with this dish! It was so fresh-tasting, so clean, so easy to prepare, and it reminded me of a favorite childhood dish that my mother made — soup beans and corn bread. When I was growing up in West Virginia, soup beans were so common that civic organizations had “bean feeds” as fundraising events. My mom made her soup beans with great northern beans and the requisite ham bone, ladling them over slices of buttered corn bread. We topped it off with chopped onions or scallions, ketchup, and pickle relish. My father added horseradish to his.
I offer this Ful Medames variation as an homage to my mother’s soup beans and cornbread. Feel free to make your favorite cornbread or use a crusty peasant loaf to accompany this excellent lunch or dinner entrée.
1 1/2 cups small dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
2 cups water (approximately)
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 to 3 Tbsp fruity olive oil
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, tightly packed
2 to 3 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Prepare your beans!
1. Rinse your beans thoroughly in a colander and pick through them, discarding any inferior-looking beans.
2. Place your beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak overnight or 8 to 12 hours before you plan to cook them.
Because the beans absorb water, they will plump up. I usually cover the bowl with a plate during the soaking process.
Cook your beans!
3. Drain and rinse the beans again before placing them in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover. Add the sliced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Lock the lid in place. For stovetop pressure cookers, place cooker on high heat and bring to high pressure. Lower heat enough to maintain high pressure for 4 minutes. For electric cookers/multi-cookers, set to high pressure for 4 minutes.
Allow pressure to come down for 10 minutes naturally, then quick-release remaining pressure. Taste a bean for tenderness. If the beans are not quite tender, put the lid back on and let them continue to cook in residual heat until they are done.
Add remaining ingredients
5. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and salt. Taste and make any adjustments as necessary. There should be a lemony freshness to the beans, so add a little more lemon juice, if necessary.
Ladle the beans into bowls and serve with either some freshly baked cornbread or a nice crusty bread.
I like to place slices of buttered cornbread in the bowl, and ladle the beans and broth over the bread, just like my mom did.
You can add toppings like chopped onions or scallions, a drizzle of ketchup, some pickle relish, horseradish, or your favorite condiments.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker or multi-cooker, you can just as easily prepare this dish in a regular pot on your stove. It just takes longer. Place the beans, garlic, and oil in a heavy pot with enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook until the beans are tender, which could take anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes. Occasionally check the beans, and add water, if necessary. Once the beans are cooked, add the remaining ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste.
You may be able to cook the black-eyed peas without soaking them, but I almost always soak. If the beans are old, they may take longer to cook.
By the way, the black-eyed pea is not a pea but a type of bean. It originated in West Africa but is cultivated around the world.
Today is the anniversary of my beloved Mother’s passing. It’s not an easy day for me… and this could very easily be a real downer for the topic of this article. But the truth is I see it a day to celebrate her life, and mine. I have also come to realize that by sharing my (our) grief, by telling the story of my (our) grief, I can come to understand it’s power of transformation. This, too, is something to celebrate.
My mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. While her struggle with the disease and the attending pain was devastating, the drawn out nature of her passing offered the unexpected gift of time to make sure all had been said, shared, and tenderly held. When I received a call from my father giving me the news that mother had been given a prognosis of “3-6 months”, the inevitable screeched into my mind, and all fantasies of dramatic recoveries were over. I was sitting on the back porch of a friends’ home. At the precise minute that I hung up the phone with my father, frozen with disbelief, poised to explode into tears, a hummingbird arrived, buzzing right up next to me, mere inches from my face.
Native American wisdom, which is a part of my personal spiritual practice, speaks of the “medicine” of animals. According to this belief, each animal has great wisdom, or medicine, to impart. It is said that Hummingbird conjures love as no other medicine does, and that Hummingbird feathers can open the heart. Without an open and loving heart, you can’t drink deeply of the ‘nectar of the flower’, the great joys of life.
My mother loved life. Like a Hummingbird darting from one beautiful flower to another, she tasted the many joys of life. She brought people together and brought out the very best in them. Harmony and beauty were her gifts to all of us. She had loads of Hummingbird medicine to share.
In that split second when I received the call and the hummingbird came, I had this strange glimmer of recognition that there was going to be a gift of beauty and joy for me. And somewhere inside me, I could have clearly articulated that, even in that moment.
My mother did not see 6 months, or even 3. She died 24 days later. I was with her in that tremendously painful and overwhelmingly beautiful moment. A precious gift. The grief that engulfed me after her death became my great teacher. Wise, unyielding, paradisiacal. She was my best friend in life and her death broke my heart. But abroken heart is an open heart. I descended into grief, but slowly, ever so slowly, I ascended, with a deeper appreciation for the joys of life, for the gifts she gave me, in life, through her illness, and in her death.
In honor of my Mother, and the Hummingbird medicine that we now both have, I’ve hung a hummingbird feeder on my back porch. As I write, there is a beautiful Hummingbird feeder.
I am a seminary trained Ordained Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Counselor, Presentation Coach, Wedding Officiant, and owner of Sacred Stages, LLC.
Today I have a brand new take on tuna salad for your tasting enjoyment. While most tuna salad recipes use mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt to create the desired creamy consistency, this recipe does something completely different. We are using hummus! And not just any hummus: white bean hummus.
Nutritionally these Creamy Tuna Lettuce Boats are exactly the type of meal that you should be eating in order to see noticeable improvements in your shape. Albacore tuna is a lean protein that provides essential macronutrients to help your muscles develop and recover from your workouts.
To boost the fiber content we are adding some finely chopped celery, red onion and parsley in addition to whole grain mustard. Resist the urge to spread this divine tuna salad over toast and give it a try over crunchy butter lettuce leaves instead. Enjoy!
What you need Servings: 6
15oz canned albacore tuna, packed in water ½ cup white bean hummus ½ cup celery, finely minced 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely minced 2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced 2 heads butter lettuce
1. Drain the tuna and flake into a large bowl. Mix in the hummus, celery, onion, mustard and parsley.
2. Serve scoops of the tuna mixture on butter lettuce leaves. Enjoy!
Nutrition One serving equals: 144 calories, 4g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 209mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 18g protein.
I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!
According to the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA), Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, and physical integration of the individual”. http://www.adta.org
What does this mean?
So now that we have defined what DMT as the ADTA defines it, how can we use this as a healing tool? There are different ways to use DMT as a tool to heal. DMT can be used as a way to help process and release emotions in the body. DMT can be beneficial to someone that is unable to verbalize a specific emotion. Instead of using words to communicate and release emotions DMT uses the body’s natural movements to release and process emotions. DMT can be used to overcome emotional barriers such as a trauma. Additionally, DMT can be used to help someone identify their emotions, so they can communicate and effectively respond to situations and people.
How might we use DMT?
One of the ways we can use DMT to heal is identifying that we store emotions in our body. This awareness between our mind and body connection is essential to be aware of in DMT practices. An example of holding emotions in our bodies can be butterflies in our stomach or holding love in our hearts. Once we are able to identify the mind and body connection of emotions, we are able to begin the work of DMT.
Yoga can help with many physical conditions. Students often attend yoga classes to improve their flexibility, enhance their upper body strength, and gain more mobility in their limbs. Yoga can also help with digestion. Have you ever felt bloated after a large meal? Here are some simple yoga postures you can perform to help speed along digestion and stimulate elimination.
Cat/Cow Seated Twist Spinal Twist “Yogi Squat”
Cat/Cow Flow These are two yoga poses that flow together creating an undulation through the spine. The movement also stimulates your stomach muscles and helps with the digestive process. Start on your hands and knees for this yoga flow. As you inhale, tilt your pelvis back allowing your back to arch and your belly to drop. Tip your head up with your chest proudly opening forward. This is Cow Pose. When you exhale, tuck your pelvis under, draw your belly button up toward your spine, allow your back to round, and tip your chin toward your chest. This is Cat Pose. Continue the breath flow with these movements. Due to the undulating torso, while engaging and releasing your stomach muscles, you will help to relax any binds and constrictions that are slowing down digestion.
Twisting yoga postures are often associated with digestion. You can perform some simple rotating positions that can offer some relief.
Seated Twist Come to a comfortable seating posing on your yoga mat. You can sit with your legs crossed. Place your right hand on your left knee while placing your left hand behind you on the floor. Inhale and press the left hand into the mat to lengthen your spine. As you exhale, gently draw your belly in and rotate your torso to the left. The rotation and remain minimal. There is no need to over-rotate your twisting postures. Hold the posture for 20-30 seconds. The twisting position creates a squeezing sensation as the abdominal muscles contract. Think of wringing out a wet towel to release the moisture. After 30 seconds, return to a neutral position then perform the twist on the other side.
Spinal Twist Another yoga posture is Spinal Twist. It, too, can help stimulate digestion. Begin the pose by lying on your back on the floor. Gently draw both knees toward your chest. Slowly guide both knees toward the left side of the room while you extend your right arm to the right side of the room. This will naturally create a twisting sensation in your spine while squeezing the stomach muscles. Hold the posture for at least 30 seconds, then perform the rotation on the other side.
As mentioned earlier sometimes you may experience blasting or blockages that hinder digestion and elimination. Here is a yoga pose that can be of assistance.
“Yogi Squat” Take a wide stance on your yoga mat. With your hand on a wall, table, or chair in front of you for support, slowly bend your knees and come to a deep squat position. Take a wider stance to plant both feet into the ground or rise onto your tiptoes if your heels cannot touch the ground. Lift your torso and brace yourself with an extended spine by placing your elbows against your inner thighs. Your hands can come to the heart center. Hold the posture for 30-45 seconds. This squatting position helps to align your colon in a fashion that will encourage elimination.
Some of these yoga poses can be done after a meal, but if you anticipate having a large supper, for example, you can perform these poses before eating to stimulate the digestive process beforehand.
We believe that true wellness is achieved by working on the body, mind, and spirit together. We realize most people feel overwhelmed by identifying and achieving unrealistic visions of fitness, causing them to feel like failures, out of balance, and frustrated. If any part of this rings true for you then you are in the right place.
At Perfect Fit Wellness you will be with friends who believe being perfectly fit is more than chiseled abs and big arms; it involves moving and exercising the body: stimulating and supporting the mind: and developing and honoring the spirit. Through this online community of like-minded people, and easy to use tools that work in real life, you can build a comprehensive approach to overall wellness.
Each member here can find a wide range of programs and classes to grow their stamina, develop contentment and hone their purpose with a community that genuinely cares about you as a person. Our members use wellness tools to make them all they wish to be without the stress of being told what they should be.
To begin your journey to developing all you wish to be, please join our dedicated instructors and teachers for a daily workout, meditation, or lecture whenever and wherever you wish. Join now, for one low subscription, to create your own health, fitness, or wellness program.
“I honestly cannot tell you how much I have learned from these classes about yoga and life! I wish I could adequately express how grateful I have been to have these classes. This probably sounds so strange but I feel so at home and at peace doing these classes and you feel like a dear mentor and friend even though I’ve never met you in person.”
We believe that true wellness is achieved by working on the body, mind, and spirit together. We realize most people feel overwhelmed by identifying and achieving unrealistic visions of fitness, causing them to feel like failures, out of balance, and frustrated. If an part of this rings true for you then you are in the right place. To begin your journey to developing all you wish to be, please join our dedicated instructors and teachers for a daily workout, meditation, or lecture whenever and wherever you wish.