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Do Plant Based Diets Live Up To The Hype?

There are so many diet trends out there and it seems like even more are popping up every year. Yikes! How to pick which ones are valid can tough.  For me, I like the idea of plant based eating, and have found it actually makes eating healthy, filling, and stress-free meals really simple

Eating should be fun. Not complicated. Not stressful or super expensive. Prioritizing plants when thinking about your meals is essentially all a plant based diet is. Your base of pretty much every meal should be derived from plants, but you are free to eat meat, dairy, and other animal products as you see fit. Focusing on a plant diet can help make your life a little bit simpler in the following ways. 

 

You Get Those Greens: When you start planning or making each meal and your base is veggies, you will be guaranteed to get all those bright, essential colors into your diet. Basing the contents of your plate around 3-4 vegetables or plant based products will usually get more veggies in your diet than basing your meals off of an animal protein source. 

 

Easier Digestion: Meat and cheese and animal products typically require a lot of energy to digest. The fats and structure of these items sometimes take longer to break down and may move slowly through your digestive system. Eating plant based items is usually a little easier on your digestion.

That said, always be sure you have enough healthy fats and oil with your vegetables. Healthy fat sources such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil have potent health benefits and will help the plant products move through your system, making digestion easier.

Also, note that some people may experience certain sensitivities when eating larger quantities of legumes, lentils, or raw vegetables. Eat what is appropriate for your body, and if you have concerns about a food sensitivity you can always consult a dietician, doctor, or holistic nutritionist. 

If raw food is making you bloated – first be sure you are drinking enough water and getting enough of those healthy fats in. Try cooking your veggies – steaming, roasting, making soups – or eat some of your meals with a mild carbohydrate, like rice, which can assist in digestion. Cooked vegetables are good, too – remember, this is not a raw only diet, so get creative with preparation, spices, and flavors!

 

Mindful Eating: First of all, the production of pretty much all food takes some water. Cows, almonds, chickens, soy, corn. Everything needs water. Animal products usually require slightly more – their food needs water, they need water, the production of animal products usually requires a lot of water. So, refraining from some meat products can be a good way to eat consciously.

 Buying vegetables and plant based ingredients, especially from local sources, can also cut down on fossil fuels used in transport and delivery. Another win for the environment!

 

Less Limiting: With plant-based diets, you can still eat bacon (though not recommended). You can still roast a chicken and make chicken soup. You can put parmesan on your pasta. Committing to plant based is really just thinking about your meals and eating habits in a way that prioritizes vegetables and plant based ingredients. Not swearing off cheese forever, or only allowing yourself to eat at certain times, or anything dramatic – just eat more plants!

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How to Heal Your Gut: Consider Colonics

While your body has natural mechanisms and processes for detoxing, sometimes these systems can feel a bit sluggish, especially when it comes to digestion. Ultimately, poor digestion can lead to:

  • Skin trouble
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Water retention
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Depression
  • Headaches and more!

There are many ways to jumpstart and clean out your digestive system, but one of my favorite methods is colon hydrotherapy.

Also referred to as a colonic, think about this as a clean flush for your gut. Similar to an enema, a colonic provider will help you get rid of built-up waste and residue by flushing your system with water. Pretty simple. And think about it, many cultures have utilized enemas, even dating back to the ancient Egyptians, to restore health, vitality, and treat illness. 

I know, it’s a little gross to think about. But, isn’t the thought of junk and waste just chilling, setting up camp, and moving into your intestines and colon even more disgusting? I mean, think about the food you ate three weeks ago. 

Particles of the pizza you had three weeks ago…rotting somewhere in your digestive tract is not a pleasant thought. Your digestive system isn’t built like pipes that make up the plumbing in your house. It’s not all just perfectly smooth surface area. Instead, your intestines have thousands of nooks and crannies, grooves, small pockets, and tiny spaces where toxic junk can get stuck as it moves through your digestive system. 

The act of filling your bowels with clean water, holding the water for a bit to give your insides a soak, and then effectively rinsing everything out will help you eliminate some of the really old bits of waste that have made their home in the lining of your colon. Yeah, it gets a bit of a bad reputation for being “icky” but storing that toxic waste is way more disgusting and problematic.

As colonics are intended to give your body a thorough cleaning, I would advise staying very hydrated both before and after. Be sure to get some powerful probiotics in you afterward to restore a healthy bacterial balance. And while you don’t need to constantly be getting colonics, they are a really useful tool for helping your body detox and recharge, getting those stagnant bits of waste out of there! 

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DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

La Vie en Rose: Why You Should Be Drinking Rose Tea ASAP

Is the hype over rose-infused items qualified? Especially rose tea, I mean, is that even necessary? 

In so many words, yes and definitely! 

Tea made from the petals and buds of roses deserves a spot in your tea stash. I believe it also serves as a perfectly pleasant, warming, and relaxing tea for the winter season. In addition to feeling fancy and luxurious, rose tea actually has some excellent benefits for your body – 2020 and beyond!

Ingredients drawn from members of the rosa botanical family are notoriously powerful for their soothing and moisturizing qualities. Similarly to how rosehip seed oil and rosewater blends can effectively provide moisturize for combination skin, rose tea can help hydrate your skin from the inside out as well. 

The antioxidants found in rosa plants are typically used to combat acne and soothe the skin in various external body-suitable products, but there are similar results can also be achieved when the rose petals and rosebuds are brewed, steeped, and consumed as a tea. 

Rose tea, first of all, smells divine. Smelling and sipping it aids almost immediately in relaxation. Additionally, it can be soothing for your nervous and digestive systems, sometimes getting your digestion back in gear, and even helping to regulate imbalances in your central nervous systems. 

As a digestive aid, rose tea is also effective as a detox infusion – and one that actually tastes good. I think probably we have all been there – with a tea or herbal infusion that is great for our kidneys, liver, digestion, but tastes…tough. These teas are great to get down and really get a strong cleanse, but maybe not every day. 

Rose tea, on the other hand, is delicious, soothing, and a completely manageable daily detox for your body. A drink you can look forward to brewing, inhaling, and sipping, I can assure you!

Rose is also rumored to have a certain aphrodisiac quality to it, so hey, maybe it’s a good thing to try out for Valentine’s Day if nothing else?

Rose tea on its own is fairly fragrant, floral, and somewhat sweet, but you can always add a sweetener if you’d like. My choice would be honey, which always offers a nicely balanced addition of sweetness, plus antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

On its own, it is naturally decaffeinated, but you can find it mixed with black or white tea blends if you are looking for a little added kick.

Tea Sparrow has an amazing tea blend called Moments which features rosebuds, perfectly paired with a light aromatic black tea base to elevate the soft and luxurious flavor of the rose, raspberry, and subtleties of mango. It’s both warm and reminiscent of tropical flavors, making it a nice winter pick me up.

In addition to getting some new teas into your healthy, warming, delicious beverage rotation, I would love if you shared your New Year, New You goals with me on Instagram! I love answering your questions, so please give me a shout if there is anything you need to succeed. 

What Are Chakras And How Are They Related To Your Wellbeing?

So, you have probably heard the word “chakra” before – am I right? It’s definitely a word that gets thrown around a lot, but what are they, and what are they connected to exactly?

The word chakra (pronounced cha-kra) in Sanskrit means a “disk” or “orb,” and refers to the seven energy centers that are found in the human body, along the spine and up through the top of the head. These energy centers not only correspond to emotional aspects of our lives, to organs and certain areas of the body, but are also closely intertwined with our nervous systems. Chakras are essentially points at which human bodies have large networks of nerve bundles. 

Even though the concept of chakras was derived from Vedic teachings dating back to 50 B.C. and from historical Ayurvedic practice, it actually blends perfectly with what modern, Western medicine knows today to be true. Vedic teachings illustrate the way in which chakras, when open, create a healthy flow of energy that creates balance, overall wellness, and vitality in a person. These areas of chakra placement are actually correlated to key points in your nervous system. Cool, I know!

Now that you know how they are related to an intrinsic part of your body – the nervous system – let’s cover where and what the seven chakras actually are…

Root Chakra

Also known as the Muladhara (moo-lah-dar-ah) or the first chakra, it can be thought of as “rooting” you to safety and security, and is found in the area around the lowest part of your spine, near your bladder, and colon. Like roots that hold a tree in the ground, the root chakra is all about standing tall and proud as we exist in the world. When this chakra is open, you may feel brave, safe, secure, and more ready for new things. 

Sacral Chakra

Found below your navel, but above your pubic bone the Svadhisthana (swa-dhi-shtah-na), or second chakra, is the center of your sexual and creative energies. When this chakra is open, you may feel extra passionate and possess a strong willingness or drive to express yourself in creative forms. 

Solar Plexus Chakra

The Manipura (ma-ni-poo-rah), third chakra is found in your core, between your navel and your breastbone. The word Manipura in Sanskrit translates to “luminous gem” and is believed to ignite your personal source of power. This makes sense, as when we think about core strength we think about the part of our body that gives us the most power, as well as the ability to stand strong and tall. When this chakra is open you may feel confident and strong in all you do!

Heart Chakra

Located in the center of your chest, nearly in the middle of your spine is the fourth chakra, anahata (ah-na-ha-tah). This fourth chakra connects the emotional, physical, mindful, and spiritual qualities of a person. It also acts as a source of connection between what are thought of as the three “lower” energies, chakras 1-3, and the “higher” energies, chakras 5-7. When your heart chakra is open you may feel very connected to others, open to love, and more drawn toward compassion. 

Throat Chakra

The Vishuddha (vi-shoo-dah) chakra is the fifth chakra, and encompasses the area around your throat. This chakra is associated with communication and vocal expression. This chakra also includes the thyroid, mouth, jaw, and tongue. When your throat chakra is open you may feel more empowered to share opinions, communicate openly, and speak your truth more freely.

Third Eye Chakra

The sixth chakra, Ajna (ah-jnah), is between the eyebrows, in the space between your eyes. Ajna is the energy center that guides your intuition, or your power to know and perceive things in and about the world. When this chakra is open you may be more inclined to listen to your intuition and allow your internal knowledge to guide you through the world. 

Crown Chakra 

The seventh chakra, Sahaswara (sa-ha-srA-ra), can be found at the crown, or very top of your head. This is the chakra of spiritual thought and connection with ourselves, the world around us, and divinity or higher spirituality. When this chakra is open – which can be difficult to maintain all the time – you may feel at your most creative capacity, capable of feeling your highest level of understanding and spirituality.

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How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!