Tropical Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is SO easy to make, it literally comes together in minutes. I prefer it once it has set overnight in the fridge but you don’t have to wait that long (that’s why i have put 4 – 12 h in the cook time bracket) . Chia seeds are packed with fiber, essential fats, and calcium to boot!

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Mango is one of my favorite fruits and absolutely easy to find here in Hong Kong and Macau – in fact – Southeast Asia. It’s high in sugar, like most fruit from the tropics and has many nutritional benefits. Mango is great for the skin as it is loaded with antioxidants. It also fights breast and colon cancers and has vision protecting properties.

MangoChiaPudding_Bowl

Mango Chia pudding
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 sweet and juicy mangoes
  2. 1 cup of coconut milk
  3. 2 pitted dates
  4. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup of raw nuts and seeds
Instructions
  1. Start blending the mango until you have a thick sauce.
  2. Pour the mango sauce evenly into 2 glasses or bowls. Set in the fridge.
  3. Blend the coconut milk and two dates until smooth.
  4. Pour the sweetened milk into a small mixing bowl.
  5. Stir the milk, chia seeds, and vanilla until it becomes a thick pudding. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes then let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken.
  6. Pour the chia mixture on top of the mango sauce in even portions.
  7. Allow to set overnight.
  8. Be sure to cover if you are storing over 1 day, it lasts 4 days in the fridge, covered.
  9. Serve with chopped nuts.
Notes
  1. If you have difficulty with tropical fruits like Mango, you can substitute with a fruit of your choice in this recipe. Fresh or frozen will work here. The consistency should be like a thick smoothie.
  2. If there is too much liquid in the mango portion it will not set up at all. If you are having issues add 1/4 cup of raw coconut meat, that should for sure make it set up and I’ve made it like that many times.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Happy Brand New You!!!

2017

OMG 15 days have passed since we have welcomed 2017 and yes, It has been ages since my last post, I am well aware…since March last year to be more precise (WOWWW)…. However…However… this is not without good reason. And in this instance that reason takes the unmistakable shape of Relocation with pretty much brand new everything! Brand new location, brand new flat, brand new routines, schools for the girls, brand new community, new friendships, new neighbours and everything else you can imagine. After five years of living in our beloved Apartment in Taipa and after counting endless months (more than a handle ;)) in Macau, we upped sticks to the sticks…. well to not that far…to our dear neighbour –> Hong Kong… But more about that later, Now we focus on keep going into 2017 right, we focus on keep rolling with the Resolutions, we focus on keep going recharged, rejuvenated and absolutely ready to embrace this brand new chapter of 365 pages.

The new year is the perfect time for a clean start and a new outlook on what you want to achieve this year. Whether is boosting your endurance, getting into shape or simply make more time for yourself, consider this a chance to make your brightest dreams a reality. It’s  an opportunity to reflect on the past and to challenge yourself to new begginings. This is the time to Dream Big – and start the change NOW – and you don’t need to relocate like I did.

Want to clean up your diet and choose healthy foods that will also help you to drop the unwanted kgs? Conquer the clutter; over scheduling (yep, I know!!), and other unwanted obstacles that often stand in your way? Whatever your hopes and wishes are for the coming year, use the turning of the calendar to put them into action.

It all starts with you and Don’t wait for a Monday or the 1st of the Next Month. Start Now!!!

If you are new to fitness or coming back after a long layoff – it happens to all of us – turn to my special “Beginners Fitness guide for Women” which includes comprehensive workouts and an easy and affordable diet plan that you can follow. You will also find easy and yummy pre-post/post-workout snacks in our recipe menu and don’t forget to share/tag your New-Year New-You goals and accomplishments with our brand new #thebodybymari on Instagram.

Happy and Healthy New Year Everyone

XX

 

 

 

 

December’s Agenda

Uncategorized | December 5, 2015 | By

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December,the twelfth and last month of the year and the first month of meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere is the first month of summer. This is the month with the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

December, you are an extremely cozy month…heaters are on, fire places, candles and cozy lights are lit, people are friendlier, there is more feeling of Love and compassion among everybody, decorations are spot on, season’s movies, cartoons and crafts are ready to be explored, you are a month full of festivities, gatherings, travelling, shopping, birthdays, cooking, baking, laughter, celebrations, traditions, fragrance of spices, colours, snow ohhhhh you are definitely the most wonderful time of the year. This is also the month that we tend to let go a little bit of the diet control and indulge a little bit more of the goodies we have around…specially those that are meant to be eaten this season only.

I am no exception…

The agenda is ALWAYS full from the 1st day of this magical month. Just in my Family we celebrate 7 Birthdays including Hubby’s on the 4th (yesterday) and  Sienna’s on the 16th. Since i have been cooking non stop, i have voluntarily offered to make my brother-in-law’s Birthday Cake (Dec.1st) – My very own recipe of Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting A FAVOURITE!!!!!!And i obviously baked hubby’s Vegan Chocolate Cake that turned out FANTASTIC!!!!All recipes that will definitely feature during this holidays. 

From the 8th – 11th we will be out of town on a short getaway, Saturday the 12th is Sienna’s school Christmas Party, 15th we a special friend is turning 1, on 16th is Sienna’s day as well as te Blissful Market Day – Sattva Juicery will be there again!!!From the 17th to the 23rd the focus will be on putting together the last touches for X’mas and for me, is reflexion time as well. We can’t forget the meaning of Christmas.

Talking about reflexion, December is a month where i take the time to “analyse” what happened in the previous 11 months…a time where i see if my objectives and golas were accomplished, a time to make new Resolutions, a time to think again outside the box and dare to make cool goals for the year that will start in a few weeks. How was your 2015?Did you accomplish all your goals?Did you stay true to yourself and to your objectives?What do you need to improve?How will you rock 2016?I love answering these questions. I consider December the First and  Last “chapter” of the book as we are saying goodbye to 11 previous great chapters but welcoming bran new 11!Here, we have the chance to plan/visualize the next year ahead with strong wills and wants…then, is up to us to follow it true…and reach again December, and see if you made your dreams come true.

Happy Holidays and Have a magical month Everybody

Love and Peace in our hearts

Xx

Raw Vegan Desserts!!

 

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As we have seen, a whole-foods, plant-based diet has been proven in countless studies and personal experiences to be excellent for long-term health, and the best lifestyle choice for the planet and certainly our animal friends. 

In many cases, cooking and refining our food can destroy much of the vital nutrition we need to thrive. Fruits, veggies nuts and seeds are often most nutritious in their raw, whole state. They are able to retain the most vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients, which all play maker roles in sustainable wellness and a happy, long life. There’s an abundance of evidence to show that eating a whole-foods, vegan diet with plenty of raw food is the optimal way of eating for most individuals; but i think the best way to decide what kind of diet is best for you is to experiment and find what makes you happiest. Personally, with no doubts, i feel my best, with more energy and happiest when eating this way.

There are no basics for raw food. There’s really not too much one need to know about the ins and outs of creating raw vegan cuisine.

What is in raw vegan desserts? Nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut, cacao and other superfood.

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What’s not in them? Dairy, refined sugar, processed flour, eggs. gluten and other junk your body doesn’t need.

One thing i love about this way of eating is that everything is simplified, easier and quicker. No cooking (and not much cleaning) required.

Why soak the nuts? Soaking nuts in water for about 3 hours then thoroughly rinsing them, increases their flavour and your body can absorb more nutrients from them. Soaking nuts also helps make the recipes creamier – which is often what you want.

Buy nuts in bulk, soak them all at once, rinse them and then freeze them.

The raw dessert recipes are made up primarily of fresh fruit, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut and sometimes oats or buckwheat groats. These wholesome, simple, nutritious ingredients can be transformed into decadent, awe-inspiring , jaw-dropping desserts that will make everyone ask for more.

I can’t get tired of saying that i’m a great believer that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up amazing flavour and indulgence. You should be able to have your cake and eat it too absolutely guilt free.

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Best Challenge Ever!!

It has been 4 months since we welcomed 2015 and for 4 months i have been dedicating 100% to my body, mind and soul. A promise i have made as soon as i welcomed the New Year, at 00 on that December 31st 2014.

I have promised to make this the healthiest year possible. Not that i haven’t been healthy in the previous years, but because i have been pregnant twice, i had certain limitations – food and exercise wise.

As soon as we welcomed January, I have been working out like mad!!!And felt soo good to finally concentrate in something that i really L.O.V.E. Working out! Sometimes solo, others with either Maya or Sienna … always with a stroller!You can find me jogging and do power walks in the streets and trails of Taipa at least 4 x a week. I have included my very own routines of Yoga and Fitness too.

A part from all this workout routine and breastfeeding Maya, i knew that something was missing, in order to increase my milk supply and the quality of my milk, increase my energy and feel lighter. I also wanted to recover faster from the pregnancy and c-section and be at my best for my family and loved ones. I have noticed – after a month of giving birth, that i was not digesting well/fast enough, and i always felt bloated at the end of the day, with a full stomach sensation..Something that i never had. I’ve been observing for 1.5 month. I knew i was eating well, but always wondered if  could be healthier…i knew i needed to be more consistent with certain things. I included Juices (of course) to my day and started feeling the difference right away – More Energy. It was no news…i know exactly the benefits of adding Juices to the Lifestyle…

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Since i am Breastfeeding Maya – non stop – i just can’t undergo a Juice Cleanse. I am dying to…(everybody has tried Sattva’s Cleanse Programs but me)…anyway, I knew i had to do a type of cleanse to renew, re-start, re-energize…

After my last post, I did research after research, read books, magazines and articles about Diet/Food…i start feeling that the key was to Cleanse my Body and Heal through Food!I thought why not give it a go?that could work for me…the more i learned the more i was sure that i needed to Spring Clean my Diet too. So, i decided to make a 20 Day Challenge to see the difference.

20 Days Challenge of Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet (Mostly Raw). (You can follow my Journey @marianahedegaard)

 

What is a Plan-Based diet?

It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. A plant-based diet can be basically another way to say “vegan”, though many people do use the term to mean that you eat almost all plants with some animal products. I believe Veganism is the ultimate plant-based diet.

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There are many different types of plant-based diets. The three most common ones are:

Vegan: No animal products such as meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Lacto-vegetarian: No meat or eggs, but dairy products are OK.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: No meat, but dairy products and eggs are OK. – Mine as i eat eggs 1 x a week

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People ask me why this Challenge? my answer is simple. To change, to improve and to learn.

What’s the benefits of this Challenge? As a Nutritionist and being in this industry for some years now, i can’t get tired of sharing/advising that a good nutrition and a balanced diet is key to everything. Along with that, our bodies need a break every now and then. With that in mind, i always advise and insist on the same thing:

Fast at least once a week. You choose: Juice Cleanse, Water Fast, Raw food cleanse – for a day. And you will see the results right away!!Once you make it an habit, your body will be forever grateful.(Before getting pregnant Wednesdays were my Cleanse Days. I used to drink water or herbal teas for the whole day).

From my personal experience, my favorite benefits of a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is the increased clarity of mind and energy levels. I can feel it that I am consuming what my body wants and needs on a cellular level. I love feeling overall so clean and good.

The benefits are endless: illness prevention such as diabetes and heart diseases, more energy, better mood, more positive thoughts, happier, lighter, less bloated, better circulation, less water retention, better skin, stronger hair and nails, more motivation, better digestion and of course weight loss.acai3

How often do i eat: Breakfast (8am), Lunch (12.30), Afternoon snack (glass of Almond milk or a small bowl of probiotic yogurt and fruits), Dinner (19). Times may vary, but it’s always a 4x a day meal including the afternoon snack. It works for me, but doesn’t mean it works for you. Check your G.P or Nutritionist for advise first.

What i eat: a variety of things. This challenge pushed me to learn new recipes and their benefits!!Eating Raw and Plant-Based food only never been this easier and tastier. I am not talking about the humble lettuce and tomato salad. I am talking about Kale salads, Rice salads, vegetarian screws, grilled vegetables, couscous, quinoa… wowwww,So much choice!!!Basically i am eating the freshest and cleanest whole unprocessed foods and as as much Organic as possible, i am adding tones of superfoods and Raw nuts to the diet, eating nothing but the best and healthiest oils including Coconut Oil, good fats,eating gluten free and lactose free too. I have swapped Cow’s milk for Almond, Cashews and Rice milks, i have lactose free cheese, i drink litres of water, organic and herbal teas only including Mother’s Milk Tea, Cold pressed Juices and Smoothies and my MUST HAVE Decaf coffee. I am so motivated that i don’t even feel tempted/crave to fish. meat or seafood. I have my soups every now and then too. I have Chia Seeds pudding and Açaí bowls too…i even managed to learn how to make it. So easy, so fast, so yummy and soo healthy…Come on…

11111364_1579026989024588_1427219599_n10 days have passed.

Do i Regret? NO

Do i enjoy? Yes

Do i love it? Yes

Do i recommend? Hell yeah!!!!!!

No need 20 Days like i am doing…start with 1 day and take it from there.I also recommend to follow this diet after you finished your Juice Cleanse program. This is a great way to break the cleanse and to keep with a healthy routine/lifestyle.

For me personally, it’s not a challenge because my diet – before this challenge – was very plant-based already. What really helps is not focusing on what I was giving up, but on the good things I could eat! Actually it’s very simple — you just learn to eat a variety of plants. If you slowly change your eating patterns, it’s not hard at all. Be flexible and don’t be too strict — you’ll find that it’s much easier if you allow yourself an occasional meal with animal products, especially in the first 6-12 months.acai-berry-bowl

Control your quality of life by consuming a plant-based diet. Filling your plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains is the best means for disease prevention and even disease reversal. Equally important, a plant-based diet is the best means for feeling good inside and out, everyday. While it keeps your arteries clean and your cells happy, it also brightens your skin, eyes, and hair. Weight management is just an added bonus.

Eat your vegetables! A few consistent musts for your grocery list: broccoli, spinach, apples, and blueberries.

If I could make a single dietary recommendation to people looking to get healthier, it would be to move to a plant-based diet, No doubts about it.

Xx

 

What to do right after a Workout?

If you are wondering what you should do right after a workout…any work out including gym, running, cardio, fitness classes, spinning…of 20, 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes…Your workout may be over, but it’s not time to rest just yet.

Have a look:

The perfect post-gym routine is easier said than done. But how you handle those 30 minutes immediately following a sweat session is just as important as the workout.

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Cool down, Stretch and Roll

A solid heart-pumping cardio workout means you’ve raised your heart rate close to your maximum (220 minus your age equals the recommended maximum beats per minute). So you need to do at least five minutes of light exercise to safely bring it back down to your resting heart rate (about 60 to 80 beats per minute). Whether you’re running, biking, swimming, or taking a cardio class, slowing down your pace for the last five minutes is the perfect cool down.

After, stretch while your muscles are still warm. You need to stretch before the muscles have time to cool down, which takes 30-40 minutes. When the muscle cools, it contracts, and if you try to loosen it up, you can cause injury.  It’s recommended to do at least five minutes of stretching after a workout followed by five minutes of ironing out the kinks with a foam roller for proper recovery.

Hydrate

Depending on how intensely you exercised and how much you sweat, you need to replenish lost fluids to prevent dehydration and dizziness. Water is fine if you exercised for under an hour, but if your workout was much longer or you sweat a lot, go for a sports drink or  recovery smoothies – Sattva Juicery’s Recovery Smoothies are made exactly for this purpose.

To figure out how much to sip, here’s a fun little trick: Weigh yourself before and after your workout. For every pound of water weight lost, replace it by drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water or sports drink. Another good way to monitor that you’ve gotten enough water is in the ladies room. If you have a large amount of light-colored urine, then you’re hydrated. If it’s dark, then you’ll know you need to drink more before, during, and after your workout. Sip your beverage slowly to help your body hydrate more quickly.

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Change Your Clothes

Next, ditch your soggy sports bra and tights, even if you don’t have time to shower. If you can’t wash, get out of wet clothes as soon as you can as they trap moisture that encourages the growth of germs, bacteria, fungus and yeast, which could invite a skin infection or cause breakouts.

It won’t make a difference whether you change within two, five or 10 minutes, but don’t wait longer than a half hour.

If for some reason you can’t shower or you forget extra clothes, dampen a towel with water and patting your body, then pat with a dry towel to soak up as much moisture as possible in a pinch. Bacteria doesn’t stand a chance of multiplying if you remove the moisture.

If you’re especially worried about breakouts, it’s much more important to cleanse your face before exercise rather than after. Removing your makeup and washing your face or swiping with a cleansing wipe. Try tossing something that’s easy to use on-the-go in your gym bag.

Refuel for Recovery

Last—but certainly not least—make sure to take in some food within 30 minutes of your workout. That will optimize recovery, help reduce muscle soreness, and help you perform better during your workout the following day. The 30-minute window is the peak time for potential to start rebuilding and replenishing muscles.

If you’re exercising to lose weight, it seems counterproductive to eat after burning calories. But don’t worry — eating doesn’t cancel out the calories you just burned. That’s because while working out, your body burns fat for energy. The healthy calories you consume after a workout won’t replace that burned fat, they’re used to repair and refuel.

If you’re not due for a meal, your post-workout snack should be around 150 calories, and contain a bit of protein to help rebuild muscles and carbs to offer energy. Aside from basic snacks like these, you can get a little creative and whip up these homemade low-cal post-workout snacks. Eat immediately after your workout.

Xx

5 Steps to a Better Life

Change your won mind for the better this year to achieve your potential…It’s the End of March, but you are still on time!! (Time, can you please slow down?)!

1. Watch your words Missy

The way that we speak to ourselves has a huge impact on our lives and wellbeing. If you are capable of showing affection and giving praise to others, then you’re able to do it for yourself too. Mind your inner language and you’ll reap the rewards.

You can create affirmations for the state you want to be in. Really get excited about this brand new you and bring it in to the present. Say it and say it with feeling as if what you want, you have right now.

2. Change the link

We can adopt unhealthy habits because we associate them with a loved one or a personal hero. Perhaps we link “party food” with happy moments. We may not even realise that the unhealthy habit is our way of being closer to a person or an event that we have loved and lost. You may be holding on to the sleep patterns and alcohol consumption of your student days because life was more fun back then. You can move to a better you. Is it the freedom and the carefree attitude that you’re missing? Look at ways in which you can bring these aspects in to your present day life.

3. Victim to leader

If we feel intimidated by our boss or groups of people, or we somehow feel the victim in certain situations, we can go back in time to when we felt like that. We have the power to change it now.

Go back to the time in your mind when you felt very intimidated and bring in a protector (who or what this is, is up to you). You can rewrite the situation in your mind, psychodynamically. This process will impact on everything in your life, altering the way your mind responds to events as you move from victim to leader.

4. Explore your emotions

Get a journal, and mark down ages in your life when key events took place – both the traumatic and positive.

Look to see when problems started and especially track back and notice if there are any common themes. You may want to look back and see what was going on in your life up to six months before each key event. This will illuminate reasons behind your behaviour.

5. Take self care seriously

Decide that you’re going to look after yourself IMMEDIATELY. This will send a powerful message to your mind that whatever had happened before now, you’re taking a stand as an adult that you’re absolutely worth looking after, right now. This means upgrading your nutrition and the way you nourish your soul.

Do exercise that actually makes you smile but do move more please. Get excited about life and treat yourself more.

Make some time to yourself and acknowledge how incredible you are and that you deserve better, in the very moment.

Xx

In full swing!!

Uncategorized | January 26, 2015 | By

New Year

Happy and Healthy 2015 Everybody!!

Hope you started well 2015…the 1st month of 12 is almost over…Can you believe that X’mas was 1 month ago? How did your holidays go?Are you back to your normal routine?What about your New Year’s resolutions?I have done a few and so far i am sticking to them religiously.

I am so excited to finally resume my work out routine…My pregnancy weight is reaching it’s final days with 1.5 kg left! I am back with my running and cardio sessions too…PLUS my yoga sequences…i missed it so much!Glad i am finally back…the best part is that i am managing well to adjust my schedules with feeding Maya, run my Company and dedicate my full attention to my Family.

For the busy bees like myself, this month flew – again – Was so intense but so good and exciting that i can’t wait to see what February has in store for us.

Sattva Juicery is 100% operational with gaining more clients, followers, lovers and fans Every new day! The Juicery is back after a 2 month break and for a month the ladies haven’t done nothing else then Press and Advise !!The Journey has been amazing and the responde overwhelming.

2015 will be a year of new opportunities, new business, loads of travelling and loads of challenges too!We are packing our bags to visit the Middle East and Denmark in May, Spain and the South of Europe in July, August probably Bali and December somewhere nice and warm too….We can’t wait for that!!!I will make sure to Blog all about it…i will definitely take you with me in these fantastic Journeys.

Love and Stay Healthy

Xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runway Ready Workout

Uncategorized | December 10, 2014 | By

See the total-body exercises the supermodels use to get in shape for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. You may not be walking down the World’s most famous Catwalks…but you sure are walking down on your very own Health and Lifestyle Runway.

Be inspired with these girls and start your fitness routine right now!!

Train like an Angel

Natural Ways to Stay Younger

Uncategorized | November 24, 2014 | By

Hello, fountain of youth! Stay young with these amazing, completely natural age erasers that boost brain power, stop stress, and smooth skin!!

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Stress Less

Getting older — without being doomed to wrinkle-dom and jiggly thighs — does not require a high-priced trainer and a bucket o’ Botox. We swear it. We know it. Stay young, look and feel everyday fabulous, by doing everyday smart things:

  • exercise,
  • eat healthy,
  • de-stress

Give yourself a break

Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. These days, when our stressors seem unrelenting (a steady stream of job pressures, traffic jams, money problems), chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health. “Sixty to 90 percent of all doctors’ visits each year are related to anxiety, depression, obsessive anger and hostility, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks — all problems caused by stress.

The most effective way to halt this destructive chain of events is to meditate. The technique involves repeating a mantra — a word, sound, phrase, or prayer — for as little as 10 minutes a day. A 2005 study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that meditation helped prevent age-related changes in the brain.

Try it! How? Once or twice daily, for 10 to 20 minutes (yes, you do have the time — you just have to make it), sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your muscles, roll your head, neck, and shoulders, and breathe deeply. On each exhale, repeat your mantra. If other thoughts try to invade, tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and return to your word or phrase. When you’re done, keep your eyes closed for an extra minute; slowly allow everyday thoughts to flow back into your mind. Still not into the idea of meditation? Do yoga, or something active and repetitive, like running, instead. Focus on your breathing and how your feet land with each stride. Get your to-do list out of your head.

Consume more fat

The healthy kind, that is. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and seeds) help stabilize your mood, maintain bone strength, and help prevent visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in the body. Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy. Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.

Try it! You need two grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day. Eat plenty of fatty fish such as wild salmon (a 3-ounce serving has 6.9 grams), as well as walnuts (one-half ounce has 9.2 grams). If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s from your diet, consider taking fish-oil supplements.

Get off the couch

Not only does regular exercise help you lose weight, tone muscles, build healthier bones, and boost mood, it can also help you think clearly. Studies cited by the National Institute on Aging demonstrate a connection between physical exercise and better brain power. “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and coauthor of The Healthy Brain Kit. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”

Try it! Make time for three 20-minute workouts a week. Run, bike, swim, dance — do whatever you enjoy most.

Feel the love

Anyone who’s ever fallen head over heels or discovered an activity that makes them eager to jump out of bed in the morning knows that passion is a powerful drug. It’s the central motivation of all human activity. The ability to embrace life boosts self-esteem, fuels the immune system, and improves cardiovascular health. Passion in bed can be particularly beneficial: “Loving touches release hormones, including oxytocin, that reduce stress and anxiety,” says Mehmet Oz, MD, professor of surgery and vice chairman of cardiovascular services at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University, as well as the coauthor of You on a Diet. “If sex is a purely hedonistic process, it won’t have the same results.”

Try it! Banish boredom and isolation at all costs. Rekindle the flames with your partner. Or discover a new love in the form of a mental or physical pursuit: Take up painting, join a book club, start a running program. Do whatever it is that makes you feel energized and alive.

Drink red wine

Last fall, a groundbreaking study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes, had longer average lifespans than those not given the resveratrol. According to the study’s co-lead researcher Rafael de Cabo, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging, resveratrol clearly reduced the risk of diabetes and liver problems in mice, leading to a significant decline in obesity-related deaths. But here’s the catch: “You’d have to drink 180 bottles of red wine a day to get the same benefits,” says Dr. Roizen.

Researchers are working now to improve the potency of resveratrol in order to develop a pill that contains the optimum amount of the substance. In the meantime, there’s plenty of evidence that a little red wine can offset a host of health problems. A new animal study from Johns Hopkins University suggested that red wine can diminish brain damage caused by stroke by as much as 40 percent. And research released last year showed that grape-seed procyanidins, found in red wine, helps reduce arterial clogging, resulting in lower blood-cholesterol levels and a reduction in deaths from heart disease.

Try it! Until an optimally potent resveratrol pill is available, enjoy red wine, but it’s best to follow the latest alcohol guidelines from the American Medical Association and drink no more than one glass (5 ounces) a day for your health.

Do yoga

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More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body. That translates into major anti-aging advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells, ridding them of toxins, helping prevent illness, and making skin radiant. Unlike other exercises, yoga poses are designed to work the inside of your body as well as the outside, which helps rejuvenate the digestive system, the reproductive system, even the immune system. Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth. It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.

Try it! Practice yoga or other mind-body activities at least twice a week to give yourself an energy boost, help build bone mass, and de-stress. I will resume teaching in February 2015. Start booking today!

Bite into a Superfruit

There’s a good reason we’re hearing so much about pomegranates these days. They are more beneficial than other fruits. Pomegranate juice has been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly delay the onset of atherosclerosis, and potentially help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; researchers believe it may also help prevent some forms of cancer from starting or progressing. Pomegranates can also protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays, according to a study published last March.

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Another promising anti-ager is the goji berry, a fruit native to Tibet that boasts 500 times more vitamin C by weight than an orange and is considered to be the most abundant source of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant, on earth. This little nutritional powerhouse — which tastes like a denser, sweeter cranberry — also contains more iron than spinach, 18 amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, according to Dr. Perricone. The goji berry stimulates the release of human growth hormone, a natural substance in the body that improves our ability to sleep, helps us look younger, reduces fat, improves memory, boosts libido, and enhances the immune system.

Try it! Snack on a handful of dried goji berries throughout the day. Be sure to buy ones from Tibet, because they have high serum levels. In addition, drink pomegranate juice. Not a fan of the flavor? Buy it in concentrate and add a tablespoonful daily to kefir (or plain yogurt). For dewy skin, try Rodial’s Wrinkle Smoother, a pomegranate-infused anti-aging serum with marine extracts and vitamin C created to plump wrinkles, block sun and give a youthful glow.

Sip green tea

The health buzz about this brew keeps getting stronger: Last year, green tea was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent remissions, and now it’s being tested as a way to help prevent bladder, colorectal, and lung cancer recurrence. “Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer,” says Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University and principal investigator of the cancer study. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism. Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.

Try it! Sip two or three cups daily for the ultimate health benefits.

Slather your skin with supplements

Retinol, a type of vitamin A (and a nonprescription, weaker-strength relative of Retin-A), is considered the most effective over-the-counter treatment to smooth the skin and prevent wrinkles. Retinols cause the skin to gently peel, revealing a silkier, rosier, and more supple layer. Dr. Perricone touts the benefits of alpha lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant that naturally occurs in the body. “Alpha lipoic acid is a wonderful anti-aging mechanism,” he says. It has been shown to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture, tighten pores, and give skin a general radiance.

Another powerful age-defying ingredient is madecassol, or madecassoside, an Asian plant extract that helps plump the skin, minimize fine lines, and restore a youthful glow. Madecassol has been used in France for decades to help heal scars and wounds. European studies have also found that it helps diminish wrinkles, restores firmness to skin, and hydrates skin cells.

Try it! Look for skin creams containing retinols or try products containing alpha lipoic acid.

Another good way to ensure cell turnover, protect your skin against free radicals, and stimulate collagen growth is to apply vitamin C serum under your moisturizer and makeup. Finally, be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunblock every day to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which cause aging and skin cancer.

Do mental aerobics

Brain exercises can prevent cognitive decline, and the benefits can last for as many as five years. A research has found that a two-week program of mental training can actually rewire the brain.

Try it! Strengthen your mind every day by doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or Brain Games, a handheld electronic game developed by Dr. Small that uses numbers, sequences, and word play to condition the left and right spheres of the brain.

No more excuses !!

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