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No Alcohol? No Problem!

I know some of you might have partaken in a no-alcohol challenge to start the new year. If you did, are you feeling pretty good? 

The truth is that alcohol can be great! But, it can also be not so great – for various reasons – but let’s just review the basic health and wellness factors for now. 

Alcohol has sugar. Alcohol has calories. Alcohol has additives. It puts extra strain on your liver and kidneys to digest, process, and flush it all out. 

One common misconception is that clear alcohol is somehow better for you. Sure, a vodka soda may have fewer calories than a mojito, but it still has calories. It still has sugar. It will probably still make you feel bloated and swollen. Alcohol can also negatively affect sleep cycles, energy levels, digestion, and more. Not to mention, who likes having a hangover? Prolonged headache? Being dehydrated? No one! 

If you have goals around weight loss, increased energy, better sleep, and just overall improved wellness – you might want to consider taking a break or decreasing how much alcohol you consume. That’s for you to know and for you to decide, but from my experience, limited alcohol or taking a break from alcohol consumption really helps me cleanse and feel refreshed. 

But, what do I drink if I want to celebrate? Or relax? Good question

Limiting alcohol can be tricky because it is often so closely tied with certain rituals, traditions, habits, patterns, and social events. Having a go-to non-alcoholic drink, ordering a mocktail, or just getting a yummy blended smoothie can help to just get a glass in your hand and curb the desire to opt for something containing alcohol. 

I personally like opting for tea, which I find is a nice way to treat yourself  – especially at home. Instead of reaching for that after-work glass of wine, you can try substituting a drink made with tea. For example, prep some tasty iced tea in advance, pull out of the fridge when you get home, and mix with a little sparkling water for a refreshing beverage – free of alcohol. Instead of popping super sugary bubbly, you can opt for something like this to fill in while still feeling festive. 

Or even just steep a pot of fragrant tea, which is perfect for chillier winter months anyway!

Tea Sparrow has some amazing blends. One of my favorites for a festive or celebratory drink is their Strawberry Champagne, with a hint of pineapple this blend is super refreshing, zesty, and fun. So perfect for any Valentine’s Day celebration – especially with some sparkle to stand in for champagne. 

I also love Tea Sparrow’s  Organic Hawaii Cocktail, a blend of pineapple, mango, and papaya – a solid substitute for a tropical fruit flavored cocktail. 

Tea Sparrow will keep you loaded up with new teas, especially through their monthly delivery program. Having so many amazing tea options on hand and at the ready makes it easy for me to opt for a healthy choice either at home or on the go!

What’s your favorite, fun, festive non-alcoholic beverage? Share with me on Instagram – I would love to know!

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. 

How to Fix Your Tension Headache Fast 

Hmmm, maybe your house is really loud right about now? Or maybe your holiday travel or jetlag left you with a headache?

Whatever the reason, having a headache is decidedly not a great way to enjoy the holidays. 

So, let’s fix that tension headache of yours and let’s do it quickly!

First, grab a soothing essential oil (if you have some – the doTERRA brand is my fav right now). Lavender oil works really well and has a wonderfully relaxing scent. Eucalyptus and peppermint are also great for muscle relaxation and tension relief, in addition to having stronger smells that can work to clear out your sinuses. Smelling the essential oils, rubbing a few diluted drops on your scalp, and even placing a bit above your ears (avoid your eyes) close to your temples, can have an immediate calming and cooling effect. Note: Always dilute your oils with a carrier oil to protect the skin!

Hear me out on this one…I know it’s not an essential oil, but if you have Tiger Balm lying around, rub a tiny bit on the area just behind your temples, being careful to not get it anywhere near your eye (or on any pillows or clothes – it can stain). 

Get out of direct light if you can. Cover your eyes comfortably, turn down the lights, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Turning down the lights will help ease your headache if it is causing you to feel sensitive to light, and avoiding your computer and phone screens will help decrease the straining of your eyes. Slowing down the pace of your breath can help soothe the nervous system, making it easier for your body to be more receptive to decompressing and relaxing. 

Your shoulders and suboccipital muscles all tie into the base of the skull, so when there is long-term tension, pressure, twisting, and unnatural strain, you may feel shooting pain around or behind your eyes or near the back and side of your head.

Do this easy, breezy, super soothing tension headache fix with me and in under 15 minutes you will be well on your way to feeling back to your old self. No more stabbing or shooting pains in your head, neck, or behind your eyes!  Note: Feel free to turn the brightness down on your screen when you watch. This definitely helps!

I invite you to circle back to this tension headache fix each and every time you start feeling any sort of headache creeping up on you, and share with anyone you know you may be dealing with similar discomfort. There is no reason to keep suffering! 

If you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, tension, eyestrain, fatigue, and low energy, try out my Text Neck mini-course before you invest tons of time and money going to countless physical therapy appointments. Get The Text Neck Fix and start healing safely and immediately (71% off for a limited time)!

Try these effective tension headache treatments whenever you’re facing that painful, nagging ache and please be sure to check in with me and let me know what worked best for you!

Stay well, free of tension headaches, and enjoy your holidays!

 

 

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.

The 4 Most Effective Methods for Tension Relief 

Tension can strike at any time of year, am I right? Any time, any season, any given day your body may feel tight and tense, leaving you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re finding its worse during the winter or even just during this hectic holiday season. Whenever you’re feeling tense, put these methods to good use to experience some fast-acting relief for all your tension symptoms!

Stretch It Out

As a Physical Therapist Assistant over the last 7 years,  I have always told all my patients to take the time to stretch, no matter when or where. And now, I am telling you! Push whatever fears or concerns about looking awkward aside and get down to business by stretching anywhere and anytime you feel necessary.

You can make stretching look good, I swear. Honestly, whoever has the pleasure of seeing you will probably just assume you’re an athletic person, doing normal things that athletic people do. So go for it! I always celebrate anyone I see on the street stretching and releasing discomfort. Stretching is something everyone needs in order to stay healthy and maintain their best mobility. 

Sip, Sip

Sipping on a soothing beverage has powerful benefits for both mind and body. Mint, lavender, or chamomile are all teas that are well known for their calming properties and relaxing scents, but one of my personal favorites is rooibos. I love rooibos for it’s delicious, warming, fragrant qualities, but also because it is beneficial for blood pressure and circulation.

A lot of tension and inflammation problems can be caused or worsened by poor circulation, and oftentimes when you feel super stressed you’re blood pressure and heart rate are probably higher than normal. Rooibos works to lower blood pressure, helping relieve problematic manifestations of tension and stress in the body. My favorite rooibos blends are from Tea Sparrow; they come up with the most inventive, healthy, and delicious flavor pairings each and every month. 

Turn Up The Heat

Heat can be a great way to combat tension throughout various muscle groups in the body. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, those are great options, but you can also achieve the same results by taking a warm, luxurious shower or bath. You can even heat things up internally by doing a quick, energetic yoga sequence (with me)! 

Special Neck-nique 

Sometimes tension that originates in the neck will be symptomatic as pain in your shoulders and head. Nowadays with everyone straining their necks working at computers and looking at their phones, it is so important to address neck pain quickly and consistently. Letting neck pain linger can cause chronic headaches and migraines as well as knots and prolonged tension in your shoulders and back. 

I’ve observed this evolving trend of increasing neck trouble throughout my career, and love teaching people new techniques to get their necks right.

Try this in just three easy steps:

  1. Sitting on a chair or on the ground, stretch your left arm down by your side
  2. Then, tilt your head to the right until you feel a nice, gentle stretch along the left side of your neck
  3. Hold for 20 seconds or more, and then switch and do the other side

Super, simple stretches like this have a tremendous benefit when done consistently. To really get to the root of tension extending from your neck, get The Text Neck Fix, which I created as a tool you can use literally anywhere to quickly and effectively relieve neck pain and improve your posture (mega bonus -it’s currently on sale, because I love you all so, so much)!

Looking for more safe and effective methods to combat tension, increase mobility, and sleigh all day? Take a look at today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram to learn more!

 

How to Stay Energized (even if you’re already exhausted) 

Tristan GattoThe holidays can be exhausting for everyone. Actually, life can just be downright tiring! 

Getting to a place where you can feel energized and maintain that energy is key to avoiding burnout, staying passionate about what you love, and bringing your most creative and vibrant self to your work and your hobbies. Sounds great right? 

You can’t just rely on coffee alone to get these results though. You need to energize and nurture yourself in more ways than just caffeine (don’t worry, I’m not trying to take away your coffee, or matcha, or pumpkin spice latte – GASP!)

Part of staying energized includes consuming the right fuel. As delicious as the ice cream is, you can’t expect to only eat ice cream sundaes for days at a time and then feel amazing and energetic (but wouldn’t that be freakin’ awesome?). You need a good combination of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Making sure you have enough fluids, especially water, tea, and herbal infusions will greatly benefit our levels of energy. Being dehydrated basically causes all of your organs to shift into slow motion, so getting at least the recommended 1 liter of water per day will have great added benefits for your overall well being. 

Don’t forget that during a workout you sweat and lose fluids, meaning that if you do hot yoga or work up a sweat doing some HIIT training, you’ll need to replenish with additional water!

Getting your joints and muscles actually moving can work to wake up your body. As your body moves through both powerful and gentle asanas (yoga poses) and your body builds heat, your nervous system, lymphatic system, digestion, and cardiovascular will respond by activating, waking up, and sending energetic signals throughout your whole body. 

Try committing to doing a yoga flow designed to give you that much-needed burst of morning energy each morning. See you how you feel on day-one, after a few days, and within the week. I guarantee you that you will feel more energized in the morning and will maintain that energy in a more sustainable way throughout the course of your day.  

If you have a job where you’re sitting a lot or camped out at a desk for the greater part of each day, or you find yourself doing a lot of holiday travel, getting up and stretching periodically will have tremendous benefits for beating developing tension. 

This will work to once again wake up and activate some of those muscle groups that might be tempted to slip into sleep mode. Taking a break from your computer and phone screens, giving our eyes a rest, sipping on some tea, or taking a quick walk are additional ways that we can wake up and feel a bit refreshed during even the busiest of days. 

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to enter to win the incredible Holiday Giveaway, which includes a delicious selection of tea from Tea Sparrow and a FREE course from me!! Connect with me on Instagram to find out how to enter!

Stay Balanced: Holiday Edition 2020

Here we are. December! In my last blog post, I focused on what steps you can take to help your body stay healthy during the holidays. There are so many things that drain our energy this time of year, and it’s important that you know how to balance it all and stay well. 

But, there are honestly so many reasons your body can feel out of whack this season. 

Maybe it’s the excess of food, maybe it’s the travel, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s all the running around, maybe work is wild, or maybe the holidays are just a tough time for whatever reason that may be. Whatever the cause, I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling worn out by this month. I feel pretty confident that for one reason or another, the holidays are hard on everyone. 

Even so, there is a lot to be grateful for and a lot to celebrate! Celebrating your victories, getting excited about the new year ahead and spending time with those you love.  Looking back on how far you’ve come is so important, and taking the time to focus on those positives can hopefully help take some of the stress away and bring you joy. 

If staying in good health seems like it might be a challenge while you’re traveling, visiting, and celebrating – that’s okay! I have some solid advice for staying balanced this holiday season. 

Get Moving

Getting some type of motion in each day and exercising is so important. Exercise can ward off feelings of anxiety, help you feel calmer, and is, of course, great for our overall health and wellbeing. Gentle movements and yoga will be super useful if you are feeling stiff from flights or time in the car, and even just going for a quick walk or run can help you clear your head and work up a sweat. 

You don’t have to jeopardize the things you like about the holidays in order to achieve a good balance and fit in some daily exercise. Invite family and friends to exercise with you or invite them to stretch or do some gentle yoga.  

Simple as A, B, C

Make sure you are getting your vitamins! Either taking them as supplements or eating foods in which key vitamins and nutrients naturally occur will help keep you feeling good. Some of my personal favorites this time of year are: 

  • Vitamin A: found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and lots of types of winter squash, its probably easy to find something full of vitamin A on any holiday dinner table. Vitamin A is vital to your immune system and pairs well with vitamin C in helping you ward off common ailments. 
  • Vitamin B: B-complex vitamins have so many benefits, including increased energy, better immune function, and stronger mental clarity. If you’re eating almonds, avocados, and leafy greens, you’re getting your B vitamins in!
  • Vitamin C: found in citrus, lemons, peppers, and brussel sprouts, vitamin C will boost your immunity and help you fight any infections or viruses you might be exposed to. 

Even with all the craziness, fueling your body with good nutrients and keeping active will help you find and maintain balance this holiday season. I promise that taking just a little extra time to eat something healthy and move your body will have a huge payoff in helping you feel good the whole season long!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more holiday wellness tips, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to enter to win the incredible Holiday Giveaway, which includes a delicious selection of tea from Tea Sparrow and a FREE course from me!!

Also, check out how you can maximize mobility in your shoulders with just a few minutes each day. You’ll see immediate improvement. Perfect for loosening up after periods of extended holiday travel! 

Stay well!