There is a Time and Place for Carbs

Carbohydrates are fuel for the fit. They give the body essential nutrients that provide the body with energy for daily activities.

The myth that carbs add fat to your body derives from eating those macro-nutrients at the wrong time.

Believe it or not there is a time and place for carbs!

1. Eat your carbs early in the day. A bowl of oatmeal is a great wake up call.

2. Eat your carbs after your workout while your body is recovering. Your body will eat those macro-nutrients right up! This is especially important for those of you hoping to gain muscle or lose weight.

3. Avoid eating carbs late at night or any other hour that you may spend resting like before going to an office job and sitting in a chair all day.

Thank you Obi Obadike for these awesome tips!

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Why Does my Yoga Practice Hurt?

I recently met someone who just began their yoga journey. The goal he set for himself was to cure his back pain, something that so many of us deal with on an all too often basis.

When I began a few years ago, I did so for the similar reasons. I suffered from stress related back pains that caused knots and sharp pains. Often, I could hunch my shoulders forward just an inch or two and my back would crack itself. It was embarrassing being a college student with the spine of a senior citizen. I also had anxiety issues and fitness goals I wanted to work on and so, started my yoga journey.

Long story short, this friend of mine watched a YouTube video and felt he strained his back even more.

But yoga can heal anything and anyone! WHAT HAPPENED?

YouTube is great, you can learn everything from tying your shoes to cooking dinner on there. But yoga, not always so great on there.

Why? You’re too distracted. You’re not connected with your body on a deep level because you’re too worried that the volume isn’t loud enough or that you’re not watching enough.

I saw him do a downward dog that tightened his neck because he was looking in every direction. Hips were off and so on and so forth. It’s not about perfection. Yoga is freedom and connection.

Yoga is based on meditation, flowing through a vinyasa flow without straining your body or mind. The goal is nirvana. I highly suggest attending a class for beginners. Your computer can teach you poses to take you there but, truthfully, only you can take yourself there. Relax. Breath. Flow.

Read it or study it but don’t bring your laptop to your mat. In fact close your laptop, let your mind wander. Explore. Inhale. Exhale. Enjoy.

Namaste
xo

Back to Health & Sanity (Sort of)

I’m finally feeling back to normal after two weeks of being sicker than a dog. Nose running, coughing like a beast (in summer, gross!) and all the while moving back to Saratoga, job hunting, working on writing related projects (planning events for my children’s book this summer!) and traveling between Saratoga and Long Island once a week.

So, with nothing to do for 3 days, I’m working on learning to like kale.


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Yes, I said it. Give me all the rabbit food. I’ll give you some recipes and update you on the food challenge and hopefully, you have some suggestions or recipe ideas to add to my diet!

Also, since I am no longer congested, I can get back to exercising like an animal rather than the expressive form of one.

This morning, I walked down to the lake and went kayaking.

kayaking

Then I did an ab workout, which means, I’m feeling PRETTY GOOD

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and also that I will be back to writing about those good vibe lifestyle trends shortly.

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The Road to Heart Health Doesn’t Have to be Boring

Although we are often inspired to exercise for the bodies we have now, it’s important to remember that we don’t get to trade in what we have now for what we get later on in life.

Consistent exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and other health issues later in life but sometimes it’s hard to stay interested in a workout routine. The following is a list of activities that may stray from your usual routine but are great for your heart’s health.

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Calisthenics
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Hot Yoga
  • Jump Rope
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Rowing
  • Running
  • Skating
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting

Put your heart into your workout! There is a great long list provided by Joseph C. Piscatella in his book, “Road to a Healthy Heart” that is sure to ad some fun to your journey.

Yoga to Cure your Hangover

The yoga practice we’ve been waiting for!

It’s the weekend and here in the U.S. we’re celebrating Memorial Day and freedom. For a lot of us that means BBQing and drinking beers.

We’re all stuffed with toxins and probably feeling really sh!tty but, no worries. I’ve got some Relephant tips for you to detox and twist it all out like the towel you’re mopping the beer pong table with.

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There are a lot of different ways to help you’re body recover from a massive hangover. Certain yoga positions benefit this process in different ways, curing headaches, stomach aches and so on. You probably can’t rush through this even if you want to however, I suggest taking your time in the poses to receive the most from the practice. Follow this sequence on the couch or bed or where ever you are capable of dragging your hungover self to.

1. Corpse Pose
Savasana

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Yeah, you’ve been practicing this for a while, and maybe you’ve even slept a little. That’s what makes it such a great remedy, the body needs rest! Unfortunately, you might have to go to work or do something that involves moving so, let’s move on…

2. Extended Child’s Pose
Balasana

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Roll over into Child’s Pose and take some deep breaths through the nose into the back of the throat and release them out the same way. Rest your forehead on the floor to help massage that headache away.

3. Seated Half Spinal Twist Pose
Ardha Matsyendrasana

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Twists are the best way to wring out your toxins, frustrations and anxieties. This Seated Half Spinal Twist has been said to massage the abdominal organs, detoxify the liver and kidneys and stimulate the digestive system.

4. Knee to Chest Pose
Apanasana

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Hug your knees into your chest while not allowing the spine to round and this pose will squeeze out toxins. It assists with gas, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, acidity, and constipation while also helping you through anxieties and depression.

5. Reclining Spinal Twist
Supta Matsyendrasana

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While slowly dropping your knees to either side, you will feel a deep stretch throughout back muscles and glutes while also reestablishing your balance. The organs in your torso will be wrung out, detoxifying and stimulating them. If you only do one pose, do this one. It will revitalize you pretty well while not asking you to do much to practice it.

6. Upward Facing Dog
Urdvha Mukha Svanasana

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This is the beginning of your wake up call.
Upward Dog is good for those hangover symptoms like fatigue or depression. It can’t cure regret, but I never said I was a miracle worker.
You’ll also feel a stretch in your abdomen and back. Those muscles will strengthen and you’ll feel a little less weak to your stomach.

7. Standing Half Forward Bend
Ardha Uttanasana

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Honestly, sometimes I’m a little too hungover to do this standing up. If you had too many last night, just take a seat and fold forward towards your toes.
If you’re standing up, you’ll feel a rush of blood to your head and balance may be a challenge. The result: increased focus and balance throughout your day. If you’re seated, try to touch your head to your knees. Both variations can help with both headaches and nausea.

8. Sun Salutations
Surya Mandaskar

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Peace out hangover! Just take some sun salutations to get your heart rate going. You’ll feel yourself gain some benefits from your practice, the most important of which, feeling better than you did before you started.

Feel free to leave questions or comments below!

Running Unplugged

I hate running. Most of us do. We think the perfect song will set our pace and get us motivated and on the move. It works for about 3 minutes.

Soon enough the song ends and we stop to find a new one or change pace to synchronize with the beat.

Recently I have been leaving everything at home and taking nothing with me on my runs. I used to do this from time to time but would then feel the need to cling to my phone and music once again because it was such an ample distraction from the run that I dread.

I always thought it helped me truthfully, but when I challenged myself to run unplugged for one week I noticed a huge change in my perspective on cardio.

What I noticed:

1. I don’t hate running as much.

2. Heightened concentration.

3. Afterwards, my head felt more clear and relaxed.

4. I stopped less and kept an even pace.

5. My form has improved because I pay more attention to it.

6. My time has improved. I don’t know exactly how much because I don’t even bring a watch with me.

7. I have more stamina.

8. More energy.

9. I get a better workout! I’ve never been as sore from running as I have been recently. I think it’s because I focus on my form and my muscles more. Drawing attention to them allows you to work those muscles more.

I encourage you to try this for at least one week. No headphones, no music, no phone, nothing, nada, zilch! Just you and your run.

Let me know what improvements you notice. Good luck!