Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sleep Better with these poses

Did You Know That Doing THIS Before Bed Every Night Makes You Sleep Better?
Everyone could use a good night's sleep, but how many of us are actually doing things to help make that happen? Sure, you can not eat after a certain time, and remember to set your alarm for eight full hours, but some nights you just can't fall asleep no matter what you do.
While there isn't a perfect cure for a restless night of sleep, there are plenty of things you can do to relax your body and mind before climbing under the covers. You might only associate yoga with the gym, but it's actually a great way to relax your muscles and ensure that you feel calm and comfortable in bed each night.
These ten poses are perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor before attempting any of the poses and stretches covered in this list. Yoga can't change the fact that you have to work in the morning, but it can put your body and mind in a better place for falling asleep so you can take on the world when you wake up the next day.

1. Mindful Meditation

This is the pose most often associated with meditation, and for good reason. Begin by sitting cross-legged, making sure to sit up straight and lengthen your spine. Breathe deeply and focus on each breath as it goes in and out. This will help calm your mind and put you into a more peaceful head space before falling asleep.

2. Forward Bend

I once had a friend tell me that if you stretch before bed, you'll sleep like royalty. No pose exemplifies this better than the forward bend. Stretch your legs in front of you and slowly reach forward to touch your feet. Can't reach all the way? No worries! You want to stretch your muscles without any serious pain, so don't strain to reach your feet if you can only make it as far as your shins.

3. Child's Pose

Ah, to sleep like a child again. To complete this pose, you'll want to kneel down on top of your bed. Make sure your toes are touching, then separate your knees until they are about the width of your hips. Bend your torso forward so that you are resting in between your thighs.

4. Winding Down Twist

Start as you would if you were doing mindful meditation. Now, place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand on the bed behind your back. Slowly twist your torso to the left and be sure to turn your head along with it so that you are looking over your left shoulder. Take deep breaths and hold for as long as you are comfortable. Finally, return to the center position and repeat this process on the opposite side.

5. Reclining Goddess

You may not be an actual goddess, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve to be treated like one! Lay down flat on your back, bend your knees, and touch the bottoms of your feet together.

6. Legs On The Wall

Another great way to stretch out your legs - plus, inverting them is a great way to ease tension. Simply lay on your bed and lean your legs up on the wall.

7. Rock-A-Bye Roll

If you want to sleep like a baby, it helps to pose like one. While on your back, bring your knees up to your chest and hug them close. Make sure your ankles are crossed, with your hands resting on your shins. Rock forward so that you are sitting up, then allow your body to roll backward and breathe out.

8. Pigeon Pose

Don't stress if this one looks a little complicated - the relaxation that comes with it is totally worth it. Begin by getting down on your hands and knees. Slide your left knee forward, then extend your right leg behind your body. Finally, fold your upper body forward so that it stretches over your left knee. Holding this pose for a few minutes is ideal, but a little shorter is fine. Next, try this on the opposite side.

9. Supine Twist

This pose is good for both morning and night. Hug your knees against your chest, then set them down on one side of your body. After relaxing in that pose for a couple of minutes, bring your knees back up to your chest and set them down on the other side.

10. Fish Pose

Also known as the "Flashdance pose" (not really), this one is ideal for anyone with a sore back. While laying on your back, slide your hands under your hips. Then, raise your chest toward the ceiling and let your head slowly fall back.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

8 Things I do for a Quality life style

Along my journey of discovering healthier ways to live for a happier life full of vitality and joy my routine has taken turns and circles back. These are some of the things that have stuck with me through the years that I not only enjoy but feel amazing having in my daily routine, knowing I’m treating myself with the love and respect it deserves for a long and healthy life.

1. Oil pulling

There are many first of the day routines that are great for your health, but this one keeps coming back to me. It’s an amazing way to start the day ridding yourself of all the toxins built up in your mouth during the night, setting the stage for a healthy day. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy where oil is swished or held in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature states oil pulling is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth.

First thing in the morning, I put a spoon of cold-pressed coconut oil in my mouth and swish it in my mouth for 10-20 minutes, then spit it out and brush my teeth.

Studies show that it makes your teeth and gums healthier. On top of that, it whitens your teeth which will hopefully encourage you to smile more!

Bonus - In addition, I then brush my teeth with a mixture of Turmeric, coconut oil and baking soda as another natural way to whiten teeth.

2. Warm lemon water

This is one of the best things I have found to consume first thing in the morning. Drinking warm water with lemon helps alkalize your body, aids digestion and contains enzymes that stimulate the liver, the most important detoxifying organ. It also contains pectin fiber which helps move the bowels and promote a healthy elimination system. Additionally, it fills your body with vitamin C which is an important antioxidant that helps in a detox process by neutralizing free radicals and boosting the immune system.

This morning ritual, when done regularly, also does wonders to your skin, making it youthful and glowing due to the amount of antioxidants and vitamins it contains. It is one morning ritual that I always go back to.

Bonus - When I squeeze the fresh lemon into the water I then use the lemon to massage my face as an amazing astringent, which is also an incredible natural remedy to keep the skin healthy.

3. Eat a healthy diet.

This life style goal has actually become an easy one for me, as I have grown to love so many delicious healthy foods over the years. I try to get 6 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, which isn’t difficult for me at all. I love my giant salads, and fruit first thing in the morning is like a treat I look forward to. It also makes a great sweet snack in the middle of the day. I also try to get organic produce as much as possible, and if not an option I always clean it with a veggie wash. Another favorite way to get it all in is a smoothie, which is also like a treat. I’m a big fan of vegetable soups, so if I have a salad for lunch it’s pretty common for me to have a hardy soup at dinner, or even fish with a vegetable side. I gave up all meats as of 2011, but I still incorporate sea food in my diet.

Bonus – Add a huge health punch to your diet with Spices. Some great spices include turmeric, cumin, sage, ginger, garlic, and hot peppers all having established medical benefits. Things I have removed from my diet include trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup and most sugars, gluten as much as possible, and pretty much anything processes and unnatural. I do treat myself with dark chocolate, so with that said caffeine enters my diet in moderation. Also drink plenty of fresh clean water.

4. Make fitness a priority.

I am definitely guilty of sitting by my computer for long periods of time, however since joining a gym a couple years ago it became a priority to go daily, or at least 3 times a week rain, sun or snow. Then in the summer time I spend a lot of time in my garden that gives me quite the work out as well, but having a gym membership that I pay for and get a health insurance rebate for attending so many times a month, I continuously have that motivation. Apart from the daily routines think adventure! In the winter I started up snowboarding which is incredibly challenging but fun, and in the warmer weather going on a hike or any outdoor activities qualifies to get your body moving. For a long adventurous hike check out these versitile backpacks.

Bonus- Apart from a good sweaty workout, I find time in most of my days to do a tai chi, qi gong and yoga session to get my body moving and stretched in the comfort of my home. It’s a time a cherish that both relaxes and energizes me. I found some favorite videos on youtube and when I feel like it in my day, no matter what the time is I turn on my playlist and go through the videos. It always leaves me feeling amazing.

5. Unwind your mind - Meditate

Each and every day I find it so important to give my mind a break. I don’t live a very stressful life, but I find that taking a moment to reflect on how amazing my life is and appreciate all that I have tends to bring more amazing things into my life. I keep an appreciation journal, synchronicity journal, and diary for logging in wonderful moments I want to look back on for nostalgic reasons. After reflecting and jotting down my thoughts, I take the time to quiet my mind in meditation. Depending on how I feel I may mediate for 5 minutes of half an hour, focusing on my breath and good feeling thoughts that melt my mind into stillness. Another way I meditate is through doing my arts and crafts, wood burning, gardening or even crocheting to music I enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a difficult stillness, just something to get your mind back to a peaceful state.

6. Get enough sleep.

I work a graveyard shift, s my sleep habits are far from consistent with 9 days of work then 5 days off, but I make it work. I prioritize sleep and make sure that I get plenty when my body calls for it. I am very fortunate to have the lifestyle I do, so although my schedule is unusual this is something I can almost always accomplish, apart from having trouble falling asleep. I find a really good workout does impact my sleep and I sleep great on those days.

7. Get supplements.

Although I try to eat a rich diet of nutrients and minerals, I do feel that sometimes I am lacking in a few things, so I like to have certain supplements on hand at all times. Living in Minnesota with long winters I always have a Vitamin D spray available for those months where I don’t get any sun. I like to have a vegan multivitamin on hand as well for days where I feel I didn’t quite get all the nutrients my body deserves, and I throw in a few others for liver support and overall body detox. Another thing I make a priority daily is a good probiotic. I am definitely not a big fan of fermented vegetables, although I did try to be at one point, but now I stick to a good probiotic pill and I enjoy a glass of fruit kefir as well.

8. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol

This one is pretty self-explanatory for all the reasons why it’s a good idea to stay away from these harmful substances, and although I probably didn’t need to add it as something I do, because it’s something I choose not to do, I had to include it because I know firsthand that it has definitely played a huge roll in the health of my body. I never had the desire to try to smoke and didn’t take a custom to drinking alcohol so this was never a struggle for me, but a conscious choice I made very early in my life that I’m so thankful for. It’s rare finding other adults who don’t partake in alcohol on an occasion, but I like having these things completely omitted from my life. I love knowing their absence has provided me with a less foggy lifestyle, in all senses.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Greenhouse Update 3/25/16

 3/25/16 - planted 18 Swiss Chard seeds, 3 Giant Collard Green seeds and three more Red Russian Kale seeds that don't seem to be sprouting. I'm not sure if the seedling that sprouted on the edge is actually a Red Russian seedling on a stray tomato seed! It looks like a tomato seedling, but I can't remember what the Red Russian seedling looks like.
 3/25/16 - many more seedlings graduated to's filling up!
3/25/16 - Updated Greenhouse.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Loving A Highly Sensitive Person

We have discussed the highly sensitive person many times before, but if this is your first time hearing the term, here is a quick summary for you.

Before the 1990s, heightened sensitivity in humans was not widely talked about, but in 1991, a psychologist named Dr. Elaine Aron began to study this trait more closely. Surprisingly, she discovered that 15-20% of the population carries the trait that classifies them as highly sensitive, which means they respond to external stimuli more noticeably than non-HSP’s. They simply have a different way of processing sensory information due to parts of their brain that regulate emotions being more responsive than the brains of their less sensitive counterparts.

Before you start a relationship with a highly sensitive person, here are some pointers to keep in mind about how to love and care for the empath in your life.


1. A highly sensitive person feels everything more deeply.

Highly sensitive people don’t know how to feel in any other way than right down to their soul – they get hurt easily, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Everything seems intense for the highly sensitive souls among us, so if you get in a relationship with an empath, remember to pay attention to and honor their feelings. If you disregard them, you can be sure that this will make your sweetheart run in the opposite direction of your love.


2. A highly sensitive person needs lots of time to recharge in solitude.

Highly sensitive people are usually introverts, so that means they derive their energy from within themselves, not from external sources. They tend to avoid big crowds of people because it seems overwhelming and nerve-racking to them. HSP’s enjoy doing quiet activities, such as hiking in nature, drawing, writing, painting, or anything that allows them to express their creativity.
They easily pick up on other’s emotions and auras, meaning that their own energy can become drained or frazzled when bombarded with stimuli coming in from all directions. Solitude gives them a chance to align themselves once again and clear their energy of any negativity they may have picked up from others.


 3. A highly sensitive person is highly intuitive to your emotions.

A sensitive person can automatically sense how you feel without you having to say a word. Loving a highly sensitive person means that your feelings will always be on display, because they can pick up on energy very easily. You can’t hide anything from an empath, so if you get in a relationship with one, make sure you feel comfortable with keeping your emotions in the spotlight at all times.


4. A highly sensitive person doesn’t treat sex as just a game.

In order for an HSP to become interested in intimacy with a partner, he or she must feel completely comfortable with the person on a deep spiritual level. They might identify with the term sapiosexual, which means they find human intelligence to be the most attractive feature about a person.
They won’t consent to sex unless they feel a soul connection to another person. Sex is not taken lightly or seen as a game by highly sensitive people.


5. A highly sensitive person’s brain runs on overdrive, making them more prone to insomnia.

Their minds work on overdrive most of the day, so turning the lights out and laying their head down doesn’t do much good for a brain that doesn’t want to sleep. They might lie awake some nights just tossing and turning, contemplating life and all its mysteries.
Highly sensitive people often suffer from insomnia due to their overactive minds, and might sleep at odd hours of the day to make up for it. Most people know them as a night owl, because they seem to come alive at night.


6. A highly sensitive person can easily get overwhelmed in loud, crowded environments.

You will likely meet them in a quiet coffee shop or book store rather than at a bar or mall. They like places where they can hear their own thoughts and process stimuli slowly, which makes busy, loud establishments an infrequent stop for highly sensitive people.
If you date an empath, you’ll have to understand their desire to spend ample time in nature or at least in a quieter setting than most places today provide.


7. A highly sensitive person can’t change their disposition.

Oftentimes, sensitive people are misunderstood because others think they just want attention, but high sensitivity is actually an inborn trait. They can’t help the fact that their brains are wired differently than others, but this makes them feel like an outcast much of the time, unfortunately.
If you date a highly sensitive person, don’t try to change them. Just love them for what they are, and try to understand and support them as best you can. They can seem more difficult to be in a relationship with, but their ability to love so deeply makes it totally worth it.


8. A highly sensitive person doesn’t like to get in fights.

Because they feel emotions so deeply, they don’t like to get into heated debates or arguments with people. They’d rather walk away from a confrontation, or at least talk things out rationally. Be patient if you need to talk things out with an empath – they will need to collect their thoughts first before engaging in a debate with you.


9. A highly sensitive person often feels misunderstood.

These types of people have been mislabeled and judged their whole lives for “being too sensitive.” If you do get into a relationship with one, don’t ever make them feel bad for their innate characteristics. Love them as they are, because they bring important gifts to the world, and they really are beautiful souls that should be cherished.


10. Highly sensitive people make the most loyal partners.

A highly sensitive person will never hurt you intentionally; they will give you their all in a relationship, and make you feel more adored and loved than you’ve ever felt before.


11. A highly sensitive person can offer great conversation.

They might seem quiet at first, but they have so much to say after they feel comfortable with you. They enjoy deep, meaningful conversations, so a relationship with them will never get boring because they always have a unique perspective to offer about the world around them, and the worlds within them, too.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Natural Tooth Mask

Heal Tooth Decay And Reverse Cavities Naturally With This Powerful Tooth Mask

Heal Tooth Decay And Reverse Cavities Naturally With This Powerful Tooth Mask
This article is going to show you how to whiten your teeth without going to the dentist and tooth masks which can reverse tooth decay on a safe and natural way!
You also have to make some lifestyle changes like:

  • Avoid eating white sugar
  • Flossing before you go to sleep
  • Oil pulling in the morning (4 times a week for 20 minutes)
  • Consume food rich in vitamins K2 and D3, including full-fat milk, cream, chicken and grass fed butter.
The two masks below are really effective in healing early decays, removing teeth stains and whitening the teeth, too.

  1. A mask with clove oil, turmeric and coconut oil

  • A pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 2 drops of clove essential oil
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of turmeric powder
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Brush your teeth by applying this mixture on the toothbrush. Let it stay on your teeth for 5 minutes and then brush your teeth with water.

  1. A mask for instantly shiny and white teeth
These ingredients will whiten your teeth and remove plaque instantly! Using this mask once a week will help you achieve the desired results!

  • A drop of sweet orange essential oil (optional)
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of licorice root powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of activated charcoal
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with a toothbrush. Put some of the mixture on your teeth. Let it act for 5 minutes and then remove the mask completely by washing your teeth with water.

As common sense would have it, do not use this mask if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients. Also even through all the ingredients are wonderful to consume, you do not want to swallow the ingredients when you’re using these masks because it is used to detox your teeth so you want to get rid of it after it does its job.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Greenhouse update 3/18/16

3/18/16 - It's now time for the 2nd wave of seeds to be planted!
I planted 9 curled Scotch kale, 6 Dino kale, 3 red Russian kale & 3 Pak Choy 
 3/18/16 - Most of the tomato plants were ready for cups ^_^
Just three of the Chocolate Cherry were too small, so they'll be moved once they get a little bigger and more stable.
  3/18/16 - The tomato plants now have more space to spread their roots with some natural light from the window.
   3/18/16 - The greenhouse is all set up! The tomato plants now have two sources of light.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Benefits of Sleeping on your Left side

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side Every Night

After a long day of working, running around, and being on your feet, nothing beats getting home to your nice comfy bed. For many of us, our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, it’s where we can fully unwind, let our guard down, and relax. It’s also the one place where the vast majority of our lives are spent. That’s because the average person sleeps for about eight hours a day. Over a lifetime this amounts to spending about one third of our total lives asleep.

While it’s common knowledge that a good nights rest is vitally important for maintaining our health and wellness, both mentally and physically, it’s not so well known that the position you sleep in can also greatly affect your health.

There are many different ways that people like and prefer to sleep in. The most common seems to be on either the left or the right side, on your back, and curled up in the fetal position. Each and every position affects your health in different ways that can be either good or bad. For example, sleeping on the back can be dangerous for people who have asthma and/or sleep apnea because it increases the risks associated with breathing difficulties. Alternatively, sleeping on ones right side can aggravate digestive problems and end up making them a lot worse. These negative effects and issues lead to not only lower quality sleep, but also less amounts of it.

The one side to sleep on, that is far and away better than all of the other sleep positions in terms of the benefits it has on our bodily health, is the left side. Sleeping on the left side can do many things, including helping us digest better and easier. It improves the overall digestive system by allowing the body to extract nutrients and dispose of toxins faster and more efficiently. In addition, it also affects our circulation and cardiovascular health because the heart is better able to pump downhill and the blood circulates more efficiently back to the heart.

Furthermore, the left side position also allows for bile and wastes to travel more freely through the body and helps improve spleen function. This results in better lymphatic drainage and more toxins leaving the body, with less overall stress and negative impacts to our health. Dr. John Douillard explains these benefits in greater detail and covers much more in the accompanying video. It’s incredible how much of a difference the position that you sleep in can have on your body.

If you are not sleeping on your left side already, you should try to make the switch as soon as possible. We each have a habitual, preferred way to slumber and it can be hard to break that habit, but it is possible to change with a few minor adjustments. You can train your body to sleep on the left side by switching on a light that’s located on the right side of where you sleep. Your body will naturally want to face away from the light source and thus you’ll turn on to the left side. There are lots of other ways that people have used to effectively change sleep positions, you just have to find out which one will likely work for you. If sleeping on the left side improves health and promotes better sleep, why wouldn’t you want to do it!

5 Secrets to A Long, Lean Physique

It’s no secret that we live in a society that loves to use smart marketing tactics to convince us to be loyal to a particular brand. In the fitness industry, these marketing tricks often use scary terminology like “bulking up” to sway us to choose one workout method exclusively over any other. 

I'm a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, and I often hear clients with strong legs complain that their "thighs are bulky." Bulk is a term that is thrown around, often by women, and refers to a particular part of the body or muscle group becoming larger than desired in proportion to other parts of the body. 

Yet when we consider the term "bulking," we are really describing what industry professionals often refer to as muscle imbalances. Meaning, bulking is often the result of the overdevelopment of a specific muscle, or set of muscles, in comparison to its surrounding muscle buddies. Think: My biceps are big and strong, but my shoulders are kind of puny in comparison.
So how do we avoid this? First of all, the old rule of using lighter weights with higher repetitions still reigns — so keep up the good work on that! Here are a few more super-simple tips to help steer you toward the path to the strong, long, lean physique of your dreams!


1. You have to believe you can do it.

This is where you have to stop blaming your genes. Sure, we aren’t all built like Gisele, but I guarantee there are many people in the world with your build AND a long, lean physique. Start by changing your mindset to believe you can make these physical changes happen.


2. Roll it out!

Two words = FOAM ROLLER. When we work out, sometimes we get sore. In many ways that’s good, because the right kind of soreness means we are making positive changes in the body. 

At the same time, that “good soreness” is ALSO due to the occurrence of tiny tears in the muscle fibers that are caused by stressing the body (by doing exercises we aren’t used to, or lifting heavy weights). Those tiny tears mean we need to heal and repair the body. Repairing muscles creates a build-up of scar tissue, and scar tissue takes up space in the body — resulting in “bulking.” 

You can help your body break down the scar tissue AND speed up muscle repair (rolling helps increase healing blood flow to the affected areas) by doing a bit of self-massage on a foam roller. You can do this before OR after your workout, but I personally prefer before because it breaks up any pre-workout stiffness and helps to warm up your muscles (remember that increased blood circulation I just mentioned?), which helps prevent injury.


3. Listen to YOUR body.

Many fitness classes are designed to deliver a total body workout and address all muscle groups. Sometimes that class might include a bunch of push-ups. Well, if your arms are dead tired from doing a bunch of push-ups the day before, don’t do the push-ups for that workout! You’ll just create more of that bulky scar tissue we talked about! (That being said, don’t do NOTHING — a plank is an excellent alternative to push-ups.)

One big reason we bulk is because we overwork certain muscles and underwork the others! For example, if you take a spin class, which predominantly strengthens the thighs and the back of the butt, balance out your body by alternating with maybe a boxing class that focuses on the arms, or a dance class that works your entire body.


4. Prioritize stretching.

Stretching helps to train your muscle fibers to live in a more lengthened state. You might have heard of the term “muscle memory”? This applies to stretching as well. If we practice stretching after every workout, you not only relieve tension and tightness, but you simultaneously work to lengthen the muscle fibers and, through repetition, teach the muscle a new resting length. Just be sure to hold each stretch for at least 30 to 60 seconds!


5. You are how you move!

I bet that as you're reading this, you're unconsciously scrunching your shoulders up into your ears. Let it go. See? Look how much longer your neck is!
When performing any exercise, you should focus on working within your full range of motion. You must teach your muscles how you want them to exist in space. Quality of movement counts too. Slow down how quickly you perform each exercise. Try moving with a more fluid movement style. I am an equal opportunity fitness fanatic, but no matter what I am doing I ALWAYS have some form of yoga in my rotation. For me, the asana practice always brings me back into balance. 

Think about it: Have you ever seen a “bulky” yogi? Sinewy? Yes! Muscular? Sure! Overweight? Yeah, sometimes. But bulky? NOPE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

24 Easy Ab exercises

Sick of crunches? You've got options—24 to be exact. Check out this video with fitness expert Kristin McGee. From planks to Pilates to yoga poses, all of these moves will get you the stronger, tighter, sleeker abs you crave, with a few bonuses along the way (such as a better back, butt, legs, and more).