OH, YEAAHH! *Healthy* Kool Aid!

Summer means increasing your water intake. I often liven up boring water; avoiding sugar filled sports drinks and artificial water flavor enhancers, with an herbal infused sun tea.

Today, I stopped by my local food co-op and picked up a loose leaf, fruit blend tea in bulk to try!

This one contains Red Raspberry Leaf, Hibiscus, Orange & Lemon Peel, Rose Hips, and Lemongrass.

I swear it takes me back to my youth – chugging a glass of Kool-Aid after running thru the sprinkler all day..


To Your Health!

~V

Happy International Day of Yoga

How did you celebrate International Day of Yoga?

My community offered free yoga classes all day at the pedestrian bridge overlooking the Wabash River today.

I was so happy to greet the morning, sharing Sun Salutations with others.

To Your Health!

~V

Recipe: Summer Thirst Quencher *healthy!

This summer, why not quench your thirst with my recipe for an all natural, healthy, and homemade Electrolyte Drink?

It’s featured HERE on the Institute For Integrative Nutrition’s Alumni Recipe Blog. 

To Your Health!

~V

It’s All About ME! *Self Care * Tips To Take It Beyond Mothers Day

20140509-100639.jpg

How much time do you set aside for self care? While studying to become a Holistic Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ,self care was one of the first topics we discussed. Yes, even before we went into the details of nutrition, fitness and more.

I’m dedicated to being mindful of Primary Food as part of my lifestyle, which focuses on Quality Relationships, Physical Activity, Career Satifaction, and a Spiritual Practice as core elements to overall wellbeing. All four equal self care.

What’s self care, you ask? To me, it means taking the time to do things that are good for your body, mind and spirit. Because, it’s true, if you’re not happy & healthy on the inside, you are definitely not going to be happy & healthy on the outside. It’s just how it works!

Some of My Favorite Ways to Practice Self Care

Deep Breathing, Meditation, Prayer

Set aside a quiet space, and time in your day where you can sit in silence and tune inward. Deep breathing and focused concentration slow down the brain waves and make them more organized. This helps us to have presence, peace of mind and a practice of gratitude. If giving thanks is part of your practice, your inner light will shine!!

Sleep, Sleep, and more Sleep!

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Eat Nutrient Rich Foods

This does not mean adhering to a strict or unchanging “diet”. It means eating in a conscious, simple way that is also more broadly varied. Try experimenting with fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables for a feel-good, clean meal.
The foods you eat become your blood, affecting the quality of your cells, tissues, organs, and your mind

Hydration

It’s no surprise that drinking enough water affects your health. Backache, headache, fatigue, and digestive problems are all linked to dehydration. Understanding the significance of proper hydration will help to advance your health.

Move Your Body

Involve your whole body. Ditch the gym and exercise outside in the fresh air whenever possible. Stretching and deep breathing are vital for health.Walking, swimming, bicycling, and gardening are excellent.Meditative exercises such as yoga or tai chi are both gentle and effective.

Spend Your Time and Energy with Supportive People

Limit and cut toxic relations. Explore forgiveness. If something is not working, it’s time to change directions. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that trying to make something happen is counterproductive. A rejection is just a re-direction in life. Whether that is a job or relationship or anything for that matter, something even better is on the way. Believe that, and surround yourself with others who do too!
When I make loved and trusted ones a priority, I deepen my ability to surrender and let go of things/people that my heart isn’t aligned with. Spending time with positive people allows you to give and receive *vital for wellbeing!

Loving Touch,Massage,Orgasm

That’s right, I said it! I mean it too. You know that old adage, an apple a day?Well it applies here too. As long as you feel safe, empowered, loved, respected, and sexy. Besides increasing a strong body/mind/spirit connection, we benefit from touch, massage, loving connections, and especially orgasm on the physical, spiritual and emotional level.
Every loving couple should enjoy the rejuvenating effect of sensuality and sexuality – all of which affects marriage, commitment,emotions, diet,career,and social life etc…
Those who want cookies and ice cream all too often may be craving a different type of sweetness. We can eat an awful lot of green leafy veggies and not get anywhere near the healing effects that come from having great sex!

Use A Health Coach

Why could you benefit from a Health Coach? Making changes necessary to support your health can be a challenge – making them last can be even more difficult.
I work with busy men, women and families to achieve and/or advance health and wellbeing goals by providing do-able practices. I’m here to energize, promote, and council you to reach and maintain meaningful changes in diet and lifestyle.
Visit my Contact/Services page

I also recommend reading this article Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish to get more comfortable with idea of self care.

Ahhhh, simplicity! Give your body what it wants – Good Food, Good Water, Good Air, Good Exercise, Respect and Love.

To Your Health!
~V

Take A Hike!

take a hike

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term Go Take A Hike as a “Rude way of telling someone to leave”.

Now, I’m not trying to be rude, that isn’t even close to my intent, but seriously….Go Take A Hike!

I’ve blogged previously on Nature Deficit Disorder

One the reasons I love hiking? It’s a holistic means to increase wellbeing!

Natural Bridge at Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Natural Bridge at Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014
Weekend escape with my love! Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Weekend escape with my love!
Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014
Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014

Hiking is much more varied than many other types of exercise, particularly those offered in a gym. Not only can your workout be different each time, depending on the trail you take, but the landscape will also change, if only from the seasons.

Hiking is an ideal form of exercise because it is easy to adjust to any level of fitness – you can start with a gentle stroll. Hiking can be on a level, well maintained path, or up a pathless mountain. This makes it excellent for people who are hoping to improve their fitness, as they can simply take more and more difficult hikes.

Hiking outdoors connects you to nature and natural rhythms, which may increase your happiness and help you feel more fulfilled.
A difficult hike, for example, up a hill or mountain, can also help you feel like you’ve achieved something. I have a fear of heights. I purposely plan trails that will challenge this irrational phobia. As a matter of fact, this past weekend while hiking Red River Gorge, Kentucky, I panicked and had to descend a set of steps on my bottom! But I did it! And when I looked up at the cliff I had just conquered I felt accomplished. I’m going back for more!

Hiking is a wonderful activity that is easy to start and continue, due to its varied and customizable nature. Hiking can help you to lose weight, clear and ease your mind and build a healthier body.

Do you have a nearby or favorite park that offers hiking trails? Well, then go take a hike!

To Your Health!

~V

Nature-deficit disorder: a reduced awareness and diminished ability for adults and children to find meaning in the life around them, due to a reduced amount of interaction with the natural environment.

Shades State Park, Indiana
Shades State Park, Indiana

I know you’ve heard it before, “Fresh air will do you good”? But it now also makes sense scientifically. A surge of studies strongly suggest evidence that we can be happier, healthier, and smarter if we weave more nature into our lives.

Studies are proving a link between the outside and your insides, and that the best mind-body medicine is right beyond your front door.

For millions of years, humans depended on nature for just about everything, including food, shelter, and the regulation of sleep cycles, says M. Sanjayan, Ph.D., lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy. “Nature guided us in a very direct way,” he says. “But in the past thousand years, that started shifting; in the past 50, it has really shifted. And that the sudden absence of nature from our lives could throw our well-being way off-kilter.” In fact, the modern way of living, complete with loads of sitting and indoor time, has given rise to poorer health.

Other research suggests that rising rates of allergies and autoimmune disorders might be caused, in part, by less exposure to healthy bacteria found in nature. Still more science has linked reduced exposure to nature to higher risk for obesity, cancer, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Basically, going outside has become an option. It’s not an option. It’s a non-negotiable. A cure for stress – not to mention a host of other ailments – might lie a simple walk.

Recently a Women’s Health survey, “Health Benefits of Nature,” found that (women) who felt too stressed were more likely than non-frazzled women to spend a free day curled up on the couch. Worse, when stressed women actively try to relax: 54 percent plunk themselves in front of the TV, 44 percent eat, and 31 percent have a glass of wine; only 26 percent head out for a walk in the park.

The “Health Benefits of Nature” survey, mentioned above also revealed that “Most women already understand that nature is good for health” and 73 percent wish they could spend more time outside. The surveys notes the mounting excuses as: Women are too intimidated by too-hot or too-cold weather (53 percent), too busy (44 percent), or too comfortable hanging out at home (22 percent).

Women aren’t exclusive to a rise in stress and poor health symptoms due to lack of time outdoors. For more on “Nature Deficiency” and the effects on our children and youth, check out this National Geographic interview with Richard Louv, the author of the bestsellers Last Child in the Woods (2005) and The Nature Principle (2011) at
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130628-richard-louv-nature-deficit-disorder-health-environment/

I can’t stress enough, Nature is a powerful protector of your body and mind! You can start small;

•Sit outside for 10 minutes a day – no excuses here! Even better, meditate outdoors for 10-20 minutes.

•Hang up your car keys – If you can walk instead to run an errand, do it

•Schedule catch-ups around walks – Wine bars are so tempting. But for a fun change schedule dates and catch ups with friends around walks or activities outdoors.

•Build it into your kids routine – at our house we have technology free time, we go on day hikes, fish, camp or swim in our nearby creek. Get out there and play with your kids too! Climb trees, get dirty, be a big kid.

•Plant a garden – Whether it is in pots or in the ground get out there and get some plants growing.

•Eat outside – Obviously this is easiest in summer but if you can cook a healthy homemade meal, light a few candles and create a romantic connection outdoors with your partner. A win-win!

Kind of makes you want to get outside, like, immediately. Right?

~V