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Why You Should Make Pineapple and Papaya Your New BFF’s

Papaya and pineapple – aside from their notoriously tropical flavors, what’s the deal with these fruits? 

One of the reasons these fruits are super-powered for human health is due to their enzymatic content. Naturally occurring enzymes in these fruits get to work in your digestive systems by helping breakdown food effectively and moving food through your digestive system. 

Think about it as the enzymes infusing your body with a little extra “cleaning power” – helping efficiently separate nutrients from waste, putting the good stuff to work, and then motoring that waste right on out of your body. Helpful, right?

Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain which assists in breaking down proteins that you ingest and helps put them to good use as fuel for your body. Bromelain also helps sift out amino acids, which are useful for muscle growth and recovery as well as being essential for normal organ function. Helping your body break down and actually absorb the proteins is a huge benefit of digestive enzymes. 

The caricain enzyme in papaya has been found to be effective in breaking down gluten, making it potentially useful if you find yourself sensitive to gluten. The papain enzyme in papaya supports human tissue growth and naturally helps protects tissue and muscle fibers within the body. 

Papaya has a ton of fiber – also great for healthy and regular digestive function – as well as folate, and important B vitamin that supports the metabolic process, cell growth, and cell regeneration. In this way, joint health and tissue protection make papaya a great ingredient to consume for joint and muscle comfort and recovery, especially if you are maintaining an active exercise and mobility schedule. 

 In Thai cuisine, green papaya salad is a culinary staple. The green papaya is actually just an unripened papaya – still light green in color, not yet ripened and bright orange. The green or unripe papaya is actually even better for your digestion and even more full of enzymes. Papaya salad is usually consumed on an empty stomach or at the very beginning of a meal for maximum benefit! Still, a fully ripened papaya will still contain all of the excellent enzymes, but with a different texture and flavor. Ripened papaya you will find to be sweeter and softer than green papaya. 

Papaya enzymes are even becoming increasingly popular in skincare in mask form, as the enzymes work to exfoliate and clear away dead skin. Not only do these papaya infused masks gently scrub your pores and skin clean, they also smell amazing!

Papaya and pineapple are also chock full of vitamin C, helping boost and protect your immune system. Easy to incorporate into smoothies or as a post-workout snack, I highly recommend these powerful fruits to anyone in need of digestion support, joint protection, or extra vitamin C!

Share your preferred pineapple and papaya recipes with me on Instagram

And if you’re looking for a longer-term solution to your daily aches and pains, look no further! Yoga Prehab™ is a proven combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT created to help your body heal, get fit, and prevent potential injuries. 

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!

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….!