Learn and Thrive


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Blog

Yoga and your Vagus Nerve

Yoga and your Vagus Nerve Pay attention to how you feel after nice yoga, meditation, or breathing session. Calm. You know, the yoga high.  Ahhhh. Are there ways you can have this feeling while you are at work? Or driving? … Continue reading »

What makes Ashtanga Yoga Ashtanga?

What makes Ashtanga Yoga Ashtanga?  It’s not necessarily the sequences. While Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced series are part of ashtanga, they are not what really makes the practice ashtanga.   Ashtanga means 8 limbs, and asana is only 1 of … Continue reading »

Vinyasa

TOPIC OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY 2006 / September 2011 / updated again and added to blog September 2020 Vinyasa Vinyasa is the way to go Jump on back and feel the flow Upward dog and downward too Pick yourself up … Continue reading »

Bandhas

TOPIC OF THE MONTH September 2020, September 2012, July 2011, May 2006, August 2004 BANDHAS  a little thing that makes a big difference Throughout my yogic life the bandhas keep changing for me — in the beginning they were very … Continue reading »

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Recipes

How to use this page and these recipes ~

Food as Medicine, Food as information to our cells. What does this mean?
Eating to thrive is about finding your way of eating that promotes your health. There is no single “right diet” for everyone; we have to take into consideration genetic backgrounds, different cultures, and our likes and dislikes … Most of us have not taken the time to figure out what foods are right for us. This is where I will help you navigate.

For centuries we have relied on our food supply not only as a source of energy, but also for improved health, disease prevention, and connection with family and friends. However in the last several decades our food supply (and how we eat) has drastically changed. These changes towards processed and convenience foods have contributed strongly to the the increases in diseases.

Even science is very clear that food is a powerful influencer of our health. Food is not just calories to fuel our engines, it also carries nutrients that play important roles in all bodily functions — informing our cells how to behave to create health and resist disease. Poor quality food can actually create disease where as high quality foods at the right amounts, at the right times of day can reverse disease and sustain health. This is how food is medicine and food is information to our body.

Food also represents connection; families and friends that prepare and eat food together form healthy cultural bonds — at the daily dinner table and through celebrations and ceremonies. Preparing food from scratch are the traditions that spread knowledge of how to cook and prepare healthful foods from one generation to another. The loss of cooking from scratch has contributed greatly to the current disease load.

How do we get back to it? Change is not easy — there will always be ups and downs … but there will NOT be any harsh restrictions, counting calories, or feeling deprived. Instead I will help you with effective strategies and tools to improve your health; like weekly meal planning, shopping schedules and resources of clean foods, recipes, and recommendations about time management, cooking, and food storage. As well as steps toward mindful eating so you can digest and absorb all the nutrients in your nutrient dense foods.

Just a few basic concepts will get us started on the path … Keeping it simple in the words of best selling author Michael Pollan “Eat Real Food, Not too much, Mostly Plants”.

How to use this page and these recipes ~

Notes for each season, grocery lists for each season, and why you want to adjust your foods for each season:

Meal Planning, a plan to succeed, a plan of thriving. 

Here is a meal planning template to help you plan and make your own nourishing meals quickly and easily.

Plan to eat a Rainbow of color nutrients every day!  The chart for kids is also a very useful tool for adults.

Recipes for:

What should I eat?  Answer:  What is negotiable and what is NOT Negotiable

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Face and Body Care Essentials

This is an area where we can greatly reduce our chemical load. Personal care products are some of the most toxic.

Do you know that the average woman who uses cosmetics, lotions, lip stick, fingernail polish, hair gel, etc. walks out the house in the morning with over 60 known carcinogenic chemicals on her body (!) And over 500 chemicals in general. These chemicals interfere with our bodily processes — especially our hormones and are linked to increased risks of cancer and auto-immunity. With the rise in our populations with these diseases we clearly need to reduce our chemical exposures. Here is a nice starting point and a relatively easy way to reduce your chemical exposure which thereby reduces your risk of disease.

 

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True Green Cleaning

Essential oils for cleaning are far superior!
EWG.org the Environmental Working Group explains that commercial cleaning products can cause numerous health problems including asthma, allergies, birth defects, cancer, and chemical burns. You want to avoid these poisonous products from “scented” cleaners to air freshers to dryer sheets!

A clean environment not a sterile environment is what we want. Sterile environments don’t teach our immune systems how fight off germs and bad bacteria. The bacteria in our soil and around our house “vaccinate” us from many illnesses just from being exposed to small amounts of them.  Many household chemical cleaners not only kill the bad bacteria, but also the good. This is like cleaning with anti-biotics — disrupting the balance of immunity and digestion. Don’t kill the good guys . . . and avoid the chemicals. It’s easier than you think.

You really don’t need clorox, oregano oil works better! Essential oils effectively kill MRSA, e. coli, salmonella, the flu virus, staph, listeria, and pneumonia. They effectively kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi without promoting resistance like anti-biotics and other chemical cleaners.

Essential oils are relatively easy to obtain, have low toxicity, and degrade quickly in water and soil making them environmentally friendly 🙂

Some of the best antimicrobials, antibacterials, antiseptic, degreasers, and mold and mildew killers are:  Cedar wood oil, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Sweet orange, and Tea tree.

A word on Elbow Grease
As it turns out, it is not what we spray on surfaces to clean that does the cleaning — it is our effort of wiping . . . think wax on, wax off . . . The most effective mix for removing bad bacteria is a double wipe down method. It is the effect of spraying once and wiping down, then a second time and wiping down each area you are disinfecting.

Here is some more info and other tips for True Green Cleaning. 

The worst household air offenders?  Fragrance and Dryer sheets!  Fragrance does not need to be identified on an ingredients list other than to say “fragrance” which is most often a toxic chemical cocktail of several harmful chemicals. You want to avoid bringing anything with fragrance into your house. One of the biggest users of fragrance are dryer sheets and fabric softener. Read the link above for some solutions.
And diffuse oils instead of spraying toxic chemicals into your indoor air!

Grocery List for Cleaning Products:

Gallon of vinegar
Big box of baking soda
Essential oils; clove, a citrus, rosemary, tea tree, pine
Hydrogen Peroxide
Rubbing Alcohol
Cheap high proof vodka
2/3 cup olive oil
Plain Castile Soap

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Herbal Home Remedies

Learn how to use herbs and oils to prevent and treat minor ailments and injuries — aka little boo-boos.  Also learn ways to reduce antibiotic and medication use by learning how to incorporate herbs, spices, and essential oils into your life safely and effectively.

Aromatherapy is not just smelling the oils, though this is lovely.  Aromatherapy is using the aromatic molecules the plants produce for our health too. 
Plants produce these aromatic molecules to protect them from insects, diseases, harsh weather, and any other threats.  As it turns out us humans face similar threats from these same pests and diseases — making these plant molecules effective for humans as well.

The aromatic molecules plants produce can be used in a variety of ways. Diffusing their scents into the air is good for our respiratory system, reducing stress, help fight contagion, boost immunity and mood, and could even help you sleep.

We also use the herbs and oils in lotions or carrier oils for improved skin health and lymphatics. Gels, salves, and balms can be helpful for minor aches pains or household type little injuries, as can a warm compress with herbs. Baths are another lovely was to incorporate herbs and oils for healing and stress reduction.
Plant medicines can do all this with very low risk of side effects!

Ice no more!  A hot water bottle or warm compress is better than ice.  The doctor who coined RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) has rescinded it.  Read it here. A warm compress or hot water bottle with some herbs and oils can do wonders.  Contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Fever – When and why to let a fever run it’s course (and when not to).

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Meditations

Take 5, its good for you!

Just can’t sit for 5 minutes, there are some great meditation feedback tools available that use your smart phone.  Here is one of my favorite biofeedback devices from HeartMath that is very affordable and makes it easy to meditate

How to Meditate? Its easier than you think … & A few meditations to get you started

Meditation and Awareness Mistaking the method for the goal . . . Many people think meditation is about being a good meditator . . . meditation prepares us to live our live with awareness. We need a meditation time, however … Continue reading »

Ashtanga Pranayamas

The first two Ashtanga Pranayamas In the first pranayama you hold your breath out 3x then you hold your breath in 3x.   On the second pranayama you take a breath and hold it in, you release that breath and hold … Continue reading »

Sitali – The cooling breath Pranayama

Sitali – This is like your ‘finishing lotus flowers’ of asana practice, wherever you stop your pranayama always end with sitali, the cooling breath.  Pranayama builds heat in our body due to breath holding (we exhale heat from our body, … Continue reading »

Calm and Positivity Meditation amongst CoVid19 – We all have each other.

This recording was a trial run of the online meditation I did on facebook to help us navigate these interesting times.  I meant to record the live class … but forgot!  So here it is.  I made this recording outside … Continue reading »

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