Setting intentions

Happy Tuesday Everyone!


Another Summer Day in Macau…wonderful this time, with Sun and Blue Sky!!!Just like we like it!
Got up early and decided to head to the pool…Baby Sienna was awake, got her ready, fed the frenchies, prepared the Pool bag, picked a nice selection of magazines and there we went happy at the sound of cool summer hits, destination —> Hard Rock Swimming Pool.

I love waking up early, specially after a good night of sleep! It gives you that motivation and excitement for getting things done!But today, i decided to take a day off and chillax with my beautiful daughter, sip fresh fruit smoothies after smoothies and do nothing!!!Just relax!!! 
In days like this, when i am at peace with myself, when everything feels right, when energies are positive and nothing can let me down, i always take some time to reflect, analyze my life and set intentions (at the beginning of every yoga class, i ask my students to set their intentions – their intentions for the practice. But is not only about the yoga practice but it’s about applying them into all the other areas of our life).

What is an Intention?

TheFreeDictionary.com defines intention as “a course of action that one intends to follow, an aim that guides action, an objective”.
Merriam-Webster.com defines intention “as a determination to act in a certain way”.
As shared in When your Relationships are Good, your Life is Good, an intention is “a clear and positive statement of an outcome you want to experience.  An intention is a goal, or vision, that guides your activities, thoughts, attitudes, and choices.   Hence, your intentions influence your actual experiences”.
You can set an intention in any area of your life- physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  Although intentions start with a mental picture of your goal, intentions require focus, action, and positive energy to manifest.
Intentions provide a framework for you to set priorities, use your time wisely, and align yourself with the resources you need to manifest your goals.   The process of setting and working towards your intentions declares to yourself, others, and the universe that you are serious about your dreams and goals.
A strong, positive, and energized intention is likely to repel that which is not in alignment with it.  The opposite is also true.  A strong, positive, and energized intention will attract the essence of what it is.


Goals vs. Intentions

Goal making is a valuable skill; it involves envisioning a future outcome in the world or in your behavior, then planning, applying discipline, and working hard to achieve it. You organize your time and energy based on your goals; they help provide direction for your life. Committing to and visualizing those goals may assist you in your efforts, but neither of these activities is what I call setting intention. 
They both involve living in an imagined future and are not concerned with what is happening to you in the present moment. With goals, the future is always the focus: Are you going to reach the goal? Will you be happy when you do? What’s next? 
Setting intention, it is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are “being” in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever-present “now” in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.
As you gain insight through meditation, wise reflection, and moral living, your ability to act from your intentions blossoms. It is called a practice because it is an ever-renewing process. You don’t just set your intentions and then forget about them; you live them every day.
Goals help you make your place in the world and be an effective person. But being grounded in intention is what provides integrity and unity in your life. Through the skillful cultivation of intention, you learn to make wise goals and then to work hard toward achieving them without getting caught in attachment to outcome. As I suggested to the yogi, only by remembering your intentions can you reconnect with yourself during those emotional storms that cause you to lose touch with yourself. This remembering is a blessing, because it provides a sense of meaning in your life that is independent of whether you achieve certain goals or not.
Ironically, by being in touch with and acting from your true intentions, you become more effective in reaching your goals than when you act from wants and insecurities. 

Some sample intentions:
Experience inner peace
Breathe consciously as much as possible
Sweat/ Detox
Present to the movement/ sensations of the body
To be fully present
Stretch or open a particular area
To heal an injury
Be gentle with myself in body and mind
Release a heaviness or sorrow
Celebrate life
Experience beginners mind (as if discovering every movement, breath for the first time)
To relax
To energize
To learn something new about myself
To learn something new about yoga
To experience clarity
To offer the peace I feel inside in service to a troubling situation or person in my life
To offer the peace I feel inside in service to my family, friend, pet, etc…


Yummy Fruit Infused Water


We can take better control of our health by giving our bodies something that is natural, healthy, and refreshing to drink. Let’s get back to the basics and have a better alternative to soda, juices, and artificially flavored waters.  At the same time, if we can get away from disposable plastic water bottles we can help the health of our planet too.

Say goodbye to soda, juice, and bottled water with these refreshing, healthy flavors! I’m keeping 2-3 flavors of this “spa water” in my fridge now!!This are amazing options to cool you down during the hot summer days.

Have a look at this eye catching recipes and add it to your lunch, dinner or party table! I’m already selecting some for my Birthday!!!

Here you go:

CUCUMBER AND LEMON MEDLEY

You will need:

6 cups chilled still spring or mineral water
12 thin slices cucumber
4 thin slices lemon

In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water, cucumber, lemon. Serve, or cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Add ice cubes just before serving.
 
CHERRY LIMEADE
You will need:
 
1 Key Lime sliced thinly
6 pitted cherries cut in half
1 sprig of mint
ice and water 
Let steep 30 minutes.
GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGE AND LIME
What you will need

1/2 a grapefruit thinly sliced
1 Orange thinly sliced
!/2 a lime thinly sliced
A few mint sprigs (optional)
Water and Ice
Chill for a stronger flavor or serve right away for a nice light refreshment

CUCUMBER MIXER
What you will need
 
6 cups chilled still spring or mineral water
12 thin slices cucumber
Few sprigs of lavender
In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water, cucumber, lavender. 
Serve, or cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Add ice cubes just before serving.
 
POMEGRANATE AND BLUEBERRY BLISS

What you will need

1 Small box of plump blueberries
1 to 2 cups fresh pomegranate seeds
Still Water 
Ice
In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water,Pomegranate seed and blueberries.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Add ice cubes just before serving.  Add blueberries to skewers as an added touch for each glass.  This makes a great iced tea as well if you use a Blueberry Black Iced Tea 
 
PEACH, BLUEBERRY AND WATERMELON
What you will need
blueberries
sliced peaches
cubed watermelon
Combine equal amount of the fruit listed above into a glass or pitcher.
Let steep for about an hour, add ice and serve.
Make this an Iced Tea by adding Peach Green Iced Tea. 
 
 
STRAWBERRY AND LEMON ICE TEA

What you will need
 
10 Large Strawberries
2 Whole lemons Sliced
Bay Leaves for decoration
Stawberry Lemonade Tea
 
Boil water and let the tea steep for about 3 minutes.  You just want a hint of the flavor and nothing too strong since you will be adding your own fresh fruit.
Slice the strawberries and lemons and place in to pitcher and chill for about 3 hours
Add Ice and serve!  
 
 

FRUIT INFUSED ICED CUBES
What you will need

Water Ice Cubes.
Boil water first. The boiling water really keeps them clear!
Mini muffin pan gives a cooler look that a regular ice cube tray. 
Add the fruit of your choice.


MIXED MELONS
What you will need

Slices or cubes of fresh pineapple. Watermelon -cubes, balls or a cutout shape (cookie cutters work great).
Honeydew -cubes
One lime thinly sliced.  (Not too much as lime is strong
 
Fill your pitcher with water and allow to refrigerate overnight.
Add Ice and Serve
 

Lemon & Mint

* Needs to infuse for at least six hours
What you need

1 gallon water
6 Lemons, zested and seeds removed
10 sprigs mint
Method of Preparation
Combine zest, lemon, and water in a large container. Allow to cold steep for 6 hours. Strain through fine mesh. Fill pitcher or jug with Meyer Lemon and mint water. Garnish with slices of lemon and sprigs of mint. Serve chilled.

Apple, Pomegranate and Rosemary

What you need

1 gallon water
10 apples, sliced
15 pomegranates, seeds only – muddled
½ cup rosemary, chopped
1 apple, sliced 1/8 inch
2 lemons, juiced in water for cylinder
20 pomegranate seeds for garnish
Method of Preparation
Combine apple slices and muddled pomegranate seeds with rosemary and water. Allow to cold steep for 6 hours. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Fill pitcher with Apple Pom Rosemary water. Fill cylinder with lemon water and garnish with pomegranate seeds, apple slices and rosemary sprigs.
Via: beautybuzzdaily


Ginger Pear Water

What you need
1 gallon water
10 pears, sliced 1/8 inch
½ cup ginger, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch
Method of Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Allow to cold steep for 6 hours. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Fill container with Ginger Pear water. Garnish center cylinder with slices of Ginger and slices of pear.

Tangerine, Fennel, Thyme Water

What you need
1 gallon water
12 tangerines, zested and pith removed – use zest and fruit
8 sprigs thyme
2 bulbs fennel, shaved
Method of Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Allow to cold steep for 6 hours. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Fill container with Tangerine, Fennel, and Thyme water. Garnish center cylinder with slices of tangerine, fennel, and thyme sprigs.
 
 
 

Slimming Summer Smoothies

Getting a gorgeous, glowing complexion doesn’t only mean slathering on sunblock or the latest antioxidant serum (though that helps, too). It also means paying attention to your diet. By tossing nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and other goodies into your blender, you can ensure that you’re eating beautifying foods that will nourish your skin from the inside, out. 

Whip up one of these bikini-friendly blends when you’re in need of a post-workout snack, belly-flattening breakfast, or grab-and-go lunch 

Happy Monday Everybody!!!!

Hope your weekend was as Healthy, Happy and Chillaxing as mine!!!

Last Saturday, the 20th, i had the amazing opportunity to participate in Sheraton’s first every 12hour Fitness Challenge for a Cause! We were few but extremely good! Well done and hands down to the BIT Ladies that were there from morning to night, giving their best and showing of their amazing fit bodies!!!Hello!!!!

It was a great experience and the next event is just around the corner.

This event included cardio, abs, box classes as well as nutritional talks and yoga classes conducted by moi :)

For those who participated (and haven’t participated) in my Healthy Eating Talk last Saturday, here are some of the yummy smoothie recipes you can do at home!!!Start by sipping one of these nutrient-packed smoothies loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. These easy-to-make drinks will help you detox, beautify and energize in just minutes. You can have them for breakfast or even after a work-out.

Like i mentioned during the workshop, It’s extremely important to:

  • Know what you are drinking
  • Take them if you If you feel like you are not getting enough vitamins from your diet,
  • Understand that this drinks DON’T substitute a meal UNLESS you are being monitored by an expert OR following a detox plan for example, but ALWAYS under supervision.

From Shape Magazine

Clean Green

After a weekend (or a couple weeks) of indulging from a little bit more of what you really needed it, break out the blender to clean up your cravings and reboot your digestive system.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

2 cups kale

1 tablespoon spirulina

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 cup ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 177 calories, 7g fat (0g saturated), 26g carbs, 8g protein, 7g fiber, 327mg calcium, 205mg sodium, 7g sugars

Chocolate Avocado Goddess

Avocado and chocolate make an incredibly indulgent combo. Here, their flavors blend with banana and other natural ingredients to create a uniquely delicious, creamy treat.

Serves: 2

 Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1 frozen banana

1 cup ice

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 306 calories, 17g fat (3g saturated), 42g carbs, 4g protein, 11g fiber, 124mg calcium, 101mg sodium, 24g sugars

Green Banana

You’ll go bananas for this creamy, delicious green drink. Sip this shake for an on-the-go breakfast, to refuel after a workout, or for a mid-afternoon energizer.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach

2 frozen bananas

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon whey protein powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 161 calories, 3g fat (0g saturated), 30g carbs, 7g protein, 4g fiber, 205mg calcium, 170mg sodium, 15g sugars

Berry Almond Bliss

Berries boast high levels of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that cause skin damage. Blend up this bright smoothie to fight wrinkles, smooth your skin,and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon flax seed

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 272 calories, 14g fat (1g saturated), 35g carbs, 7g protein, 9g fiber, 289mg calcium, 219mg sodium, 18g sugars

 

SLIMMING SMOOTHIES TO START OFF YOUR DAY

From The Dr. Oz Show

Dr. Oz’s Green Drink

Jumpstart your mornings with this high-fiber, low-calorie and rich in vitamins breakfast drink.

 Serves: 3-4 glasses

 Ingredients:

2 cups spinach

1/2 cucumber

1/4 head of celery

1/2 bunch parsley

1 bunch mint

3 carrots

2 apples

1/4 orange

1/4 lime

1/4 lemon

1/4 pineapple

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Serve and enjoy!



Energy Boosting Smoothie

This smoothie is more than just a delicious drink. Take a sip and revitalize your energy level. At under 250 calories, this refreshing blend is the perfect way to start off your day.

Servings: 2 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp 100% pure cocoa powder

2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter

1 medium ripe banana

8 oz non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt

4 to 6 ice cubes

Dash of cinnamon

Directions

Pour peanut butter, cocoa powder, Greek yogurt and ice cubes into blender and mix at high speed.

Slice banana, add into mixture, and re-blend.

Pour smoothie into two cups and serve. Sprinkle dash of cinnamon on top for extra flavor.

Nutrition Facts

245 calories per serving

16 g protein

Dr. Oz’s Vitamin Cocktail

Get your daily dose of essential nutrients with this Dr. Oz-approved blend. If you feel like you are not getting enough vitamins from your diet, this safe, foolproof cocktail packs a powerful antioxidant punch and helps you absorb nutrients from your diet.

The papaya gives you more than your daily recommended value of vitamin C to keep your immune system strong and ward off disease. The kale and spinach give you a healthy dose of magnesium and calcium, and the apple and banana give you a dose of antioxidants!

Serving: 1

Ingredients:

1 cup papaya

1/2 cup kale

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 banana

1/2 green apple

Directions: Blend all of the ingredients together in a juicer

Super Energy Smoothie

This smoothie is loaded with healthy fruits and veggies like watermelon, which helps dilate blood vessels to promote blood flow. Also, it has coconut water (one of the most hydrating liquids out there, reduces blood pressure which can make you lethargic). The best part is this recipe yields a big batch, so it you can make it once, freeze it, and drink it all week long.

Serves: several 16 oz. servings

Ingredients:

1/2 green apple

2 pints cut up pineapple

2 pints cut up watermelon

2 quarts coconut water

1 bag baby spinach

1 bag frozen blueberries

2 green apples or 2 bananas

 Directions:

Blend all of the ingredients together in a juicer, pour into 16 oz. servings. You can store or freeze extra smoothies to drink later.

The best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is through a healthy diet! 

Whole Beauty News!

Beauty by the (Vitamin) Letters:

It was only a matter of time before Vitamin D joined the nutrient brethren in jumping from kitchen to bathroom. Here’s how to work the top skin-loving vitamins into your diet – and onto your face – for home made recipes, you can visit the “Home Made Spa Recipes Post”.

Vitamin A
On your plate: sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, egg yolks 
Benefits: improves skin texture and reduce age spots
Vitamin C




On your plate: lemon, parsley, bell peppers, papaya, kale, cauliflower
Benefits: key to production of collagen (the support structure that keeps skin firm)


Vitamin D



On your plate: fatty fish including salmon and sardines, eggs
Benefits: stabilizes cell growth and boosts healing and immunity

Vitamin E



On your plate: almonds, seeds, leafy greens like spinach and mustard
Benefits: helps protect and repair skin as well as reduce redness and irritation

12 Exotic Healing Foods

 Soothe skin, fight stress, and more with these potent plants and herbs you can find in your local health food store

Elderberry
Feeling under the weather? “elderberry is my favorite ‘flu season plant,'” says michael balick, ph.d., an ethnobotanist and vice president and director of the institute of economic botany at the new york botanical garden. “the herb contains anti-viral compounds, which research has shown can help the body fight off illness.” take elderberry extracts during flu season as a preventative measure or right when you feel the flu coming on to relieve symptoms.
Chamomile
“A Soothing And Calming Herb, Chamomile Tea Is A Wonderful Way To Unwind At Night,” Says Balick, Who Curates Wild Medicine, An Exhibit About Medicinal Plants. “It Helps You Relax And Can Relieve Tension In An Upset Stomach After A Stressful Day.” The European Plant Also Has Beauty Benefits: Remove Chamomile Tea Bags After They’ve Steeped In Hot Water, Let Them Cool, And Then Lay Them On Red, Puffy Eyes To Reduce Inflammation.
Ginko
For almost three millennia, an extract from leaves of ginkgo trees has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate blood flow, improve memory, and boost libido. “While scientific evidence is unconfirmed and indeed controversial, some studies have shown that the herb can improve cognition and may be helpful in treating conditions such as dementia,” Balick adds. Clinical trials have also examined ginkgo’s ability to treat tinnitus (ringing in the ears), asthma, and leg pain, although results have been mixed.

Kava
Highly Regarded By Native Cultures In The Pacific Islands, Kava Root Contains Kavalactones, Compounds That May Help Reduce Anxiety. “Kava Is Said To Promote Easy Conversation And Story Telling, And To Help Resolve Conflict, All Of Which Helps Hold Pacific Island Communities Together,” Balick Says. “The Initial Effects Are Similar To Alcohol But Without The Negative Side Effects—People On Kava Are Mellow And Calm, Not Aggressive.” In Fact, One German Study Showed That Kava Reduced Symptoms Of Anxiety As Effectively As A Pharmaceutical Drug During The Course Of Six Weeks.You Can Find It In Capsules, Extracts, Or Tinctures.
Calendula
The Calendula Flower, A European Plant Also Known As Pot Marigold, Is Used In Topical Treatments To Calm Skin Irritations Such As Eczema. “Many Cosmetic Creams That Promise To Smooth, Soothe, Or Soften Skin Contain Calendula. It’s Also Sold As An Oil, Which Will Be Diluted By A ‘Carrier’ Oil Such As Olive, Jojoba, Or Coconut Oil,” Balick Says. You Can Even Take The Flowers, Heat Them In Water, Put Them In A Light Cloth, And Apply This To The Skin For Conditions Ranging From Insect Bites To Minor Burns And Cuts.
Cocoa
According To Balick, Cocoa Is One Of The Best Healing Herbs. Loaded With Antioxidants, It Can Contribute To Cardiovascular Health And Improve Mood By Building Up A Molecule In The Brain That Promotes Happiness, Rather Than Allowing It To Be Degraded By Other Natural Process Of The Brain. Balick Recommends A Small Bar Of Dark Chocolate That’s At Least 85 Percent Cacao A Day For A Therapeutic Dose—As Good An Excuse As Any To Eat Dessert!
Passion Flower
This stunning flower from Central and South America, the source of delicious passion fruit, contains beta-carboline alkaloids—the same compounds found in psychoactive plants from the tropical rain forests of the Amazon such as Banisteriopsis caapi or yage. “Passion flower has just a small amount of these compounds, but that’s enough to give it sedative powers so you can relax and fall asleep easily, and it may give you colorful, rich dreams if you drink it at night,” Balick says. It can also help relieve anxiety and stress. Look for passion flower in the ingredients list on teas that promote sleepiness or relaxation.
Milk Thistle
For many years, milk thistle was used in European hospitals to save the lives of victims of poisoning who had eaten the harmful variety of mushrooms. Today this member of the daisy family is primarily prescribed by herbalists for those with compromised livers due to alcohol or drug use. “A compound in the seeds, which you can find in capsule or extract form, strengthens and clears the liver,” says Balick, who recommends taking it to protect your liver if you’re using strong medications or to alleviate symptoms of a hangover.

Maca
The root of the maca plant has been used for centuries by indigenous Andean cultures in Peru and hit store shelves in the States about 10 years ago. Some research has affirmed traditional beliefs about the powers of maca, such as its ability to help boost energy, increase sexual stamina, and improve fertility. The powder can be blended into smoothies or simply stirred into water, and it’s also available in capsules or tinctures

Ashwagandha
Another sleep-inducing herb, ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, is found throughout Africa, Asia, and southeastern Europe. “It’s known as an ‘adaptogen,’ meaning it allows the body to fight stress, be more resilient, and adapt more easily to draining events we face throughout the day,” Balick says. You can take the root in extract or capsule form when you find yourself in a stressful situation, he adds.Tonics made from ashwagandha root are also used to combat pain and fatigue in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic healing tradition, while other potential uses for fighting inflammation and infection are still being tested in clinical trials.
Camu Camu
Also hailing from the Andes, the camu camu berry is one of the highest sources of vitamin C in the plant kingdom, Balick says. It’s a bit of a cure-all as a folk remedy—it’s said to be anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral, among other benefits—but no long-term studies have confirmed those uses. However research has shown that camu camu has great antioxidant powers. Mix the powder into smoothies or water.
Papaya
This gorgeous orange fruit from Central America not only tastes delicious, it’s also a powerful aid in digestion and healing. Papain, the main enzyme found in papaya, boosts the level of digestive enzymes in the gut to help break down foods more quickly and easily. “You can purchase it as a capsule or simply eat the fresh fruit more often,” Balick says. In addition, papaya can be used to heal cuts, burns, or sores by simply rubbing it on the affected area.








Becoming a Conscious Eater…

“Conscious eating is giving our body the nutrition it needs for optimal health, function and energy. Nothing more or less.”


For many people, food has become their obsession of choice, their medication, their refuge. Food is indeed mood altering. It can produce high highs and low lows. It can be addictive and destructive. Over time, we might need more of it to produce the same ‘high’ or feeling. It affects our nervous  and endocrine system, it produces biochemical changes and emotional changes, psychological changes. It can be both life-enhancing and life-destroying. Sometimes, the distance between ‘use’ and ‘abuse’ is not far at all.

The Psychology of Overeating and Emotional Eating
Many of us were raised in a situation (environment, mindset, group-think) where eating food that we didn’t physically need (that is, consuming excess calories, salt, sugar, fat) was rationalised, explained, justified and even expected. The fact that we weren’t hungry or actually requiring food was irrelevant. We often ate because that’s what the situation, circumstance or moment dictated. And when we didn’t eat (the food we didn’t need) we were criticized. 

No wonder we have issues.
We were trained to celebrate with excessive eating. That is, disordered eating. We were taught to overeat on certain occasions. It was the rule. Still is. Christmas, birthdays, reunions, anniversaries, engagements, New Year and Easter were (are) all legitimate times to abuse our bodies with food. Apparently. We were encouraged to over-ride the ‘full’ signal. To ignore what our body was telling us. 
I’m still amazed at how many people become defensive, emotional and even angry when I suggest that none of us need to overeat on Christmas day (for example). Amazingly, it’s actually possible to have a great day (maybe even a better day) without having to gorge ourselves on food that our body doesn’t need.  Apparently, some people can’t celebrate that way. The date (on the calendar) determines the behaviour. The notion of avoiding excess calories seems almost irrational to them. This is simply another easy-to-understand example of the dysfunctional attitudes, beliefs and expectations that so many of us have around food.
Conscious eating is about reconnecting with our body. It’s about stopping the abuse, lies, excuses. It’s about slowing down. It’s about paying attention. It’s about honouring and respecting the gift that is our body.
Here’s something you might want to remember everyday before you start a meal:

I will not eat food I don’t need.
I will not reward myself with food.
I will not medicate with food.
I will not allow situations, circumstances or other people to influence or dictate the way I eat.
I will not rationalise poor eating.
I will not be a food martyr; I will simply do what I need to.
I will not lie to myself or others about my eating behaviors.
I will not eat in secret.
I will not repeat the mistakes of my past.
I will not allow my mind or emotions to sabotage my physical potential.
People eat unconsciously. They eat on autopilot. They eat what they don’t need. Every day. And then they (strangely) wonder why they’re fat. And unhealthy. They eat processed unhealthy things. They eat socially. They eat because it’s expected. Because it’s there. They eat emotionally. Reactively. They reward themselves with food. And their children too. Sometimes they bribe (motivate, manipulate, control) their kids with food. “If you do… (insert task)… I’ll take you to McDonalds for dinner”. They fantasise about food. Lie about it. They eat to ease the pain. To give themselves instant physical pleasure. To numb out. To escape. To fit in. To forget.
And then when they’re finished, they hate themselves all over again. Until the next episode. And the cycle continues.
“Why am I eating this?”
If our answer is not “because I need it” then you’re eating unconsciously. Emotionally. When we eat consciously, our body, mind and emotions are all working in harmony.
Sadly, we live in a society of fast food, meals on the run, and TV dinners. We award each other for being good at multi-tasking. We rarely take the time to prepare meals, eat together, and enjoy our food.

It’s time we got back to listening to our bodies and forming a better relationship with food.

 Here are 10 tips from the HEART for conscious eating:


1.Eat When Hungry. There is a difference between physical hunger and emotional eating, stress eating, eating from boredom, or timed eating. You can practice recognizing physiological hunger by following these steps before you eat;
2.Slow Down. Remember digestion begins in the mouth and taste buds are on your tongue not in your stomach! In order to assist your body during digestion, try chewing your food thoroughly. This may mean chewing it 10 times or 30 – whatever it takes to make the food unrecognizable in your mouth. You can practice this with a mindful eating exercise (take a raisin or dried piece of fruit and exaggerate the eating experience by holding, smelling, and chewing the food slowly, for example).
3.Enjoy Food. We spend so much time avoiding certain foods or viewing food as the enemy that we forget it can be pleasurable. We may worry that once we eat a food that brings us pleasure we won’t be able to stop. Actually, the result is controlled eating rather than out-of-control eating. Ask yourself – What do I feel like eating? Be aware of the taste, texture, temperature, and smell. And believe it or not you don’t have to finish it if it doesn’t taste good!
4.Stop Depriving Yourself. Skipping meals, imbalanced meals, and nutrient deficiencies can all lead to compulsive or binge eating.
5.Create an Atmosphere. Clear off the table, put down the book, turn off the TV, get away from the computer, put down the phone, get out of the car, sit down, eat with a friend or family member, add candles or flowers to the table, and enjoy!
6.Stop When Full. Just like hunger, you can practice recognizing fullness. You don’t have to be a member of the Clean Plate Club! Every ¼ of your plate follow these steps;
7.Relax Before and After Meals. Avoid starting a meal when you feel tense or angry and try sitting for a half hour after a meal before you reach for dessert.
8.Discover Your Metabolic Type. Are you a Protein Type, Carbohydrate Type, or Mixed Type? Track your food intake and physical responses to determine your type. Should your diet emphasize protein, complex carbohydrates, or include a balance of both?
9.Respect Your Individuality. Your body is like no other. You are not your spouse, sister, best friend, coworker, or the person in the magazine. Your life will change the moment you begin taking care of your mind, body, and soul in the way that is best for you.
10.Learn From Your Experiences.
 There will be times when you eat too fast, too much, too little, and the wrong choices…and its okay!

If you work towards even one of these changes you will be better off than you were the day before. 



Enjoy the journey!

Healthy Eating

With such a complex and important subject like this one, i rather tell my own story on how i changed my perception of food, the importance of cooking my own food and the impact that all this good changes had in my body and lifestyle. Bellow you will find tricks and suggestions you can follow in order to start your own path of healthy eating sooner rather than later. You will see that is one of the most simple things to do…From making little changes in my everyday diet to cutting salt and sugar from my plate, from start improving my health to spread the good news to my family and friends. 
Everything started around 7 years ago when my Father was warned by his doctor to improve his diet, because his cholesterol and high blood pressure levels were quite high. Cutting (slowly) sugars and salts from his diet, erase fried foods and increase the consume of fruits and vegetables were some of the advises his doctor gave him…It was challenging for my father, but it was a routine that he was willing to take as his health could be in grate risk if he decided to ignore the doctor’s commands.
That’s how my sister and I took the “advantage” of this situation and decided to commit and become more aware of what we eat…forever!

Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.


We start taking small steps..don’t take me wrong, We were both careful with the food but we just didn’t know how to eat, we would undertake weird diet plans or advises beauty magazines would give in every issue…we were extremely young to diet and we didn’t have no one to tell us not to. We didn’t care much about nutrition, vitamins etc…we cared about fast results…and what a mistake!!!

Today, i keep being aware with the food i eat, where they are coming from and how they are cooked, i buy my own groceries and i try to educate myself every day…But i admit that if it wouldn’t be for my Yoga Teacher Training and my Holistic and Sports Nutrition course i wouldn’t be what i am today: A conscious eater trying to spread the message to my family and friends with confidence!!
Since my wellness Journey started i have noticed huge improvements not only physically but psychologically.I am healthier, stronger and happier than ever…And that’s how i decided to keep following this path…it takes time to start seeing the results but they show up. U can’t give up! One of the things i learnt from this decision i have made 7 years ago is patience, consistency and determination..without it you will hardly make it…


is so easy to be healthy!


I also discovered that you can actually eat whatever you want BUT in moderation…small portions and not every day or every week…you will learn to compromise a bit… my “give and take rule”…You can include the occasional slice of pizza or have your fast food burger at home while watching tv but than you have to work out a little bit longer or be more careful with what you eat after or the following day.
From experiences i start building my own routines and rules!


***

Healthy eating starts with learning how to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.
A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation.

Aim for balance. Most days, eat from each food group-grains, protein foods, vegetable and fruit, and dairy. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
Look for variety. Be adventurous. Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don’t reach for an apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will help you get all the nutrients you need.
Practice moderation. Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.
Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy. It can help youhandle stress better.
Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems, such as:

Heart disease.
High blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes.
Some types of cancer.
Among many other conditions.

Diets are temporary because you give up so much when you diet, you may be hungry and think about food all the time. And after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed.
Eating a healthy, balanced variety of foods is far more satisfying. And if you match that with more physical activity, you are more likely to get to a healthy weight-and stay there-than if you diet.
First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set an example for your kids?
Next, think about some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep doing:

20 Tips from the HEART:
1.Don’t try to change everything at once.
2.Set an easy goal you can reach, like having a salad and a piece of fruit each day.
3.Make a long-term goal too, such as having one vegetarian dinner a week.
4.Change your products to low fat or non-fat and low calories
5.Start cutting salt and sugar from your food
6.Cut on alcohol and caffeine intake
7.Invest in a good green tea 
8.Drink pleantyyyy of water. I mean PLENTY
9.Cut all refined sugar and white flour = cookies, biscuits, white bread
10.Opt for whole-grains and rye breads and crackers – they are rich in fiber 
11.Don’t skip meal!!Gold rule!!!Have your breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. That’s what i do. Some suggest 6 meals a day, but 5 are enough. 
12.Have little portions (a hand full) for your daily snacking, When snacking please snack on a low-fat yoghurt, fruit, cereal bar, nuts, trail mix (with almonds, walnuts – great source of good fats, raisins, dried apricots).
13.Cut the crisps, fries, muffins, danish etc…specially for breakfast!Can’t picture myself doing that thou eve thought it looks and smells good…specially when accompanied with coffee or tea!If you have a sweet toot, opt for the whole-wheat muffins or fruity ones…forget the chocolate chip ones…unless you know you will only eat 1 and that you will burn it later on at the gym!
14.When buying your groceries, check for the products calories…and know/be aware of your daily calorie intake…For the ladies (not pregnant or lactating) 2000 cals a day, for the gents around 2500!More about calories check Calories!
15.Have your dinner early…between 18.30 and 19 pm!!If you are hungry at around 21, have a little snack (that’s when the 6th meal come into picture)
16.Finish your day with a warm green tea cup 
17.Go to bed early and be an early bird!
18.Start the day with a warm glass of water with a lemon ( I use lemon juice for cleansing every day
19.Drink the juice of one lemon in one cup of warm water first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach).
Make sure to wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast, as this will ensure your body gets the most energy and nutrients from the food you eat. Use fresh lemons (preferably organic and locally grown) and mineral rich filtered water.

20.Keep a good work out routine

      Et voila!!!It looks hard but it’s not..is all about adapting it!!


      Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious recipes and cooking tips.
      For yummy healthy recipes, check Shavasana Recipe corner!



      Food Preparation


      I am a Type-A kind of person.  I like making lists and planning.  One of my favorite things to do each week is sit down and meal plan and making our grocery list for the week.  After grocery shopping for our necessities, I take some time on the weekends to prepare our family for the following week. And if you are like me, you know how helpful this is.
      Luckily hubby and I have the same food tastes and likes. 

      I find a lot of inspiration in reading about how other people prep for the week and thought I would share how we prep with all of you.  I timed myself and from start to finish the process takes me and hour and a half, including preparing Baby Sienna’s soups and purees.






      Store food: I use this tupperware from Ikea.




      First, I wash and cut our fruits and veggies.  We are weird in the sense that strawberries tend to get forgotten unless they are washed/chopped ahead of time.  Lazy much?  When they are ready to eat we can’t keep them in the house long enough.  I also prep celery, carrots, blueberries, and mushrooms on a weekly basis.  Other fruits/veggies are on a “by meal” basis but we use all of these almost daily.


      I always have some sort of grain on hand and it’s usually quinoa or cous cous. On top of that, I cook and shred a couple of chicken breasts or turkey fillets for easy salads, wraps, or for a meal like chicken soup.  A few hardboiled eggs an another snack likes roasted chick peas and homemade trail mix always make the cut too.

      There you have it!  This is our typical weekly food prep that helps us be successful in mostly clean eating throughout the week without the hassle and last minute choices – right or wrong – but most of the time, wrong choices. 

      Getting Started…


      Start your day with getting up early to work out…

      I know i know, getting up early is not fun…even less, to work out!
      That’s where you need the M O T I V A T I O N and  D E T E R M I N A T I O N to do it!!!!
      I don’t know if you are like me, but i do need my 8 full hours of sleep. Always did and this precious hours would determine my day and my mood!

      Since the birth of my Baby, i had to break the routine naturally, but i tried to compensate with afternoon naps and sleeping in as well….Was not easy to adapt to new schedules at the begging, but after a few weeks it was possible, and now, i am very used to…it is my new routine.

      Tips form the HEART for waking up early and getting out of the door (this is what i used to do before Sienna was born…now, i do pretty much the same, without the alarm clock, and i take my little girl along every now and then ;):

      First, before anything else, have your work out schedule ready – with realistic times and goals. It doesnt matter if is  a gym routine, a morning jog, a morning walk around the park, swimming, tennis…
      Go to bed early and remember that you are waking up early and set your alarm clock if needed.   Think about why you are getting up early and what you want to accomplish.  I know I’m going to feel so bad if I plan to get up early to work out, but miss it because I slept too late to do it.  

      1.  I Get everything prepared the night before (gym clothes laid out, breakfast ready to go, water bottle filled and iPod recharged).

      2. When my alarm goes off, I sit up and get my feet onto the floor.  If I don’t do this QUICK, I’m likely to talk myself out of getting out of bed.  I literally get up the second the alarm goes off and get moving before I have time to think how cozy it is in the bed.  Don’t think “cozy,” think “Get up NOW!”  And don’t hit snooze!

      3. Get ready and don’t forget to pack your bottle of Water!!! 

      4. Eat a piece of fruit (banana or apple i wool suggest) or a cereal bar and drink a glass of fresh juice or a glass of low-fat high calcium milk

      5Set your work out playlist and hit the road!!!!

      Having my workout over and done with as the first thing in the morning is extremely rewarding – it just gives me a different energy and vibe to the day –  and it frees the rest of the day for whatever else you have planned.

      My morning activities don’t vary much. It all depends on what type of class i am doing later in the day…My goal, is to work out at least twice a day. 

      Once in the morning and another one in the evening.


      Staying Hydrated!

      Water, sparkling water, fresh fruit Juices, fresh vegetable juices, you name it…
      Staying well-hydrated is always important, particularly in the summer months when the temperature rises and our perspiration (‘sweating’) increases. Every day, our bodies lose water naturally through the urine, intestines, skin, and lungs. When participating in physical activity, perspiration further increases this water loss; therefore, adequate hydration, or replacement of water in our bodies, is extremely important. 

      Proper hydration is critical for optimal body functioning, but it is also important to take in the right fluids.
      When thinking about proper hydration this summer, water is an ideal choice!


      Water don’t have to be boring, have a look at the Shavasana Recipes for eye catching and easy water recipes to cool you and your family this Summer!