Reverse Ageing Naturally

Happy Healthy Monday Everybody!!!!

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Wow what an eventful Week and Weekend!!!

Can you believe it has been 2.5 since we welcomed 2016? We already said goodbye to the Winter and are just welcoming Spring…and because everything flies – not just the time – i decided to dedicate this Monday post to AGING!!

But what is Aging after all?!? In the broadest sense, aging reflects all the changes that occur over the course of life. You grow. You develop. You reach maturity. By middle age, another candle seems to fill up the top of the birthday cake. It’s hard not to notice some harmless cosmetic changes like gray hair and wrinkles. Middle age also is the time when people begin to notice a fair amount of physical decline. Even the most athletically fit cannot escape these changes. Everything ages….and you can’t escape to this…What you can do tho is reverse the ageing process – naturally.

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Are you suffering from premature thin hair, fine lines, dry hands, and other sure signs of aging?

Discover five all-natural, expert-endorsed ways to reverse aging symptoms yourself, using products you already have around the house and other simple hacks. There are plenty of DIY methods to naturally reverse aging indicators and appear younger. Yeyyyyy!!!!!

Remember, a healthy, active lifestyle is the most important action you can take on a daily basis to appear younger.Reducing stress, moving on a regular basis, and eating a well-balanced diet are some of the most powerful ways to appear years younger on the inside and out.

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1. Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles. In many cases, fine lines aren’t just caused by sun exposure, a poor diet, or genetics. According to Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, wrinkles can be a sign of prolonged exhaustion. A lack of sleep produces an excess of the hormone cortisol, which can cause belly fat and break down skin cells. Commit to getting 8 hours of solid rest on a daily basis and reduce your cortisol levels, which will help restore the youthful appearance of your skin. Make sure you are also drinking enough water to both avoid dehydration and improve the skin’s appearance.

2. Combat Thinning Hair. Many women’s hair naturally thins as they get older. According to Dr. Robert Leonard, around 50 percent of women have noticeably thinner hair by the age of 50. Genetics is a primary driver, but excessive chemical processing, overzealous brushing and hormone imbalances can also make your hair appear older. A scalp massage can increase blood flow, which may temporarily cause an infusion of nutrients to your hair follicles. The technique is used in cultures worldwide to maintain hair health, and it can be performed daily.

To increase blood flow, the next time you shampoo your hair in the shower, simply gently massage your entire head with coconut oil or olive oil for a few minutes before you turn the water on.

While this hack can be performed anywhere, you’ll probably prefer to shower out the oil immediately. A healthy diet and supplementation regimen that includes leafy greens, iron, biotin, and zinc can also improve your hair’s health.

3. Reduce Eye Redness. Bloodshot eyes can be caused from long hours of electronics usage, allergies, or a poor diet. According to Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, a diet high in inflammatory foods can cause your eyes to appear red. To reduce this and other potential signs of inflammation, eat a diet that’s high in antioxidants. Make sure you include A these antioxidant-rich foods in your diet: Sweet Potatoes, Almonds and Walnuts, Cucumbers and Garlic.
4. Moisturise Dry Hands. Many women invest in high-quality moisturizers for their face, under their eyes, and for their neck, but women often forget to invest in a quality hand moisturizer. According to Dermatologic Surgeon Dr. Eric Bernstein, the skin on the hands is particularly delicate. Aging can manifest quickly in the form of thin-looking skin, dark spots, and highly visible veins. Dr. Bernstein recommends:

investing in a high-quality hand lotion and making a commitment to applying it daily.

If you hate the feeling of “slimy” hands, apply hand lotion before you go to bed instead of during the day.

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5. Whiten Dark Teeth. Yellow teeth can make you appear older and less healthy. A vibrant, healthy smile can be the most appealing and noticeable part of your face. At-home teeth bleaching kits can actually be a risky choice to reverse aging symptoms in your mouth. Dentist Jaklin Bezik writes that home bleaching kits can erode your teeth enamel and irritate your gums, which can cause discomfort and even damage to your mouth.

I have learn in one of my Yoga and Wellness workshops in Hong Kong that oil pulling – as an all-natural way to whiten your smile, that daily oil pulling (an ancient Ayurvedic practice that reportedly removes toxins and bacteria) can have a noticeable impact on oral health. Try swishing cold pressed coconut oil or another all-natural oil like sesame oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day. Aim for 5 minutes first and then work upward. Just remember NOT to  swallow the oil guys ;))

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If you’ve noticed drastic changes in your skin, hair, or oral health, it’s always wise to consult with your physician. Sudden changes and signs of premature aging can be symptoms of underlying health conditions. However, if you’re healthy, DIY beauty practices, regular exercise, and a good diet can make you appear years younger than your true age.

Take good care of yourself :)

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

This is probably the cutest dessert i have ever done and this is what i love about preparing/making raw desserts…I can’t imagine anything easier than preparing a raw dessert – as always, the simplest things are the most spectacular. You’ll only need good-quality, organic, raw ingredients, and a powerful food processor, and the rest is just about playing with shapes, tastes, and textures. Not only do raw desserts keep you away from refined sugar, but they enrich your diet with healthy oils, minerals, and vitamins.

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
Serves 12
7 ingredient vegan, gluten free cheesecakes that are creamy, slightly tart, perfectly sweet and 100% irresistible. Better than real cheesecake and the perfect healthy, simple dessert to feed a crowd.
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 cup pitted dates
  3. 1 cup raw walnuts
  4. FILLING
  5. 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, quick soaked
  6. 1 large lemon, juiced (+-1/4 cup)
  7. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp organic full fat coconut milk
  9. 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  10. FLAVOR ADD-INS - optional
  11. 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Instructions
  1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
  3. Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
  4. Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. I found the bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the "cream" off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
  6. You don't need a Vitamix for this recipe, just a quality blender. I mixed mine for 1 minute, then "liquified" or "pureed" it until silky smooth. If it won't come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
  8. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard - about 4-6 hours.
  9. Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favorite way to devour these was with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they're perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
  10. Optional: you can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but I liked them frozen as well.
Notes
  1. *If your dates are not sticky and moist, you can soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain. But be sure to drain thoroughly and pat dry to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
  2. *To quick soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Circuit Training 101

My Fitness Obsession uncovered!!!

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Circuit training is basically a combination of resistance training alongside high intensity aerobic work. The aim is to move between one exercise to the next – often referred to as “stations” – with little or no rest in between. At the end of all the exercises within the circuit you would take a short rest and then start again from the beginning. Circuits are often made up of around 8-12 exercises spending around 40 seconds-1 minute on each one and the entire circuit would normally be completed 3 times through although this can be changed to suit the individuals needs and fitness levels. Below are my top 6 reasons for including circuit training into your routine.

I was first introduced to this kind of training a few years ago…maybe 3 or 4 years ago. But couldn’t really put a name in it until Circuit training became a hit. I just knew i felt great after it and wanted to keep going with it. Last year..around this time.. hubby pushed a few videos in youtube and we would challenge each other in our living room…(yesss every other day we turn our living room into a yoga room or into a gym class room with the appropriate props and music..for 90min we work our asses out…If Girls are not sleeping, they are cheering for us super excited ). From there, i have watched a few circuit training sequences for women and i got immediately hooked with it. Gossip it works so well for me.

It was not before our trip to Mauritius (May 2015), where i got my first ever, PT – Boot Camp sessions that i got this freaky bug going on…Since then…every trip i make, is not about cardio apparels at the gym anymore but my own fitness routines, alternating with yoga…

I love it and works very well for me and my Body. There is definitely NO EXCUSE!!!You can do anywhere at Any given Time…just paired with the right Diet for you and you are ready to rock that health forever!!!

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I start the training with a Dynamic Warm-Up for maybe 10-15 minutes.

Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals.

A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch.

Dynamic stretching is ideal as the core of a warm-up routine for several reasons:

1.It activates muscles you will use during your workout. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles. Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
2. Dynamic stretching improves range of motion . So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at work, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
3. Dynamic stretches improve body awareness. If you don’t warm-up, it may take a while for your body to perform optimally. Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
4. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching . If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.

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1: It does not take long.

Many people still feel that they need to be in the gym for at least an hour especially if they are doing cardio and resistance training alongside each other, 20-30 minutes of aerobic training and then at least the same amount of time doing weights. Because circuit training combines the 2 together and is performed with little or no rest, you can complete an effective session in as little as 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.

2: You do not need much equipment.

You can have a very effective training session using minimal kit and even with just your own body weight. This means you can do it at home or at the gym during peak time when a lot of the equipment will be taken.

3: It can help to keep you interested.

When it comes to cardio training many people will spend 30 minutes or so plodding away on a piece of equipment such as the cycle or cross-trainer for example. After a few weeks of doing this boredom can easily set in which is one of the main reasons people give up the gym/exercise (also this form of exercise is not always the best way to reduce body fat but that’s for another post!). With circuit training you are continuously changing exercises and only spending a minute or so on each one. You can also mix up your circuit from session to session by simply changing the order of exercises or using different exercises altogether.

4: It works everything.

Within a circuit session not only are you going to get your heart and lungs really working but with the right exercise selection you can work all your major muscle groups.

5: It is effective.

From teaching endless number of circuit classes and using circuit training within my personal training sessions and my own workouts I have seen first hand how effective this form of training is especially for stripping away body fat and improving muscle definition. By mixing cardio and resistance training together it means you will keep your heart rate elevated throughout the session. So while you are doing a resistance exercise your body is still burning away the fat.

6: It is suitable for all fitness levels.

You can tailor circuit training to any fitness level by simply changing some of the variables such as exercise selection, time or reps per exercise and changing the length of the rest periods.

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Thursday Quickies

Eating for Energy

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Without getting into the intricacies of nutrition, it’s really important to understand food on the most basic level.

Why do we eat? Outside of cravings, temptations, social customs, boredom etc…Why on earth do we actually consume food?

It ALL comes down to energy people. The hunger “hit” we feel is simply the body’s request for fuel, so that it can produce energy. We are instinctively attracted to calorie-dense foods to most efficiently propel our activities – including mental activities! Even the very definition of a calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy.

So the fact that our modern food choices often make us sleepy, mentally unfocused, fat or even sick, is a huge red flag: there’s something seriously wrwong with what we’re eating.

On the flip side, good food rejuvenates us. Good food supports our activities, keeps us healthy, strong and keeps us at our prime. And with this mind-set – preparing food with sight, smell, taste and energy all taken simultaneously into consideration – that you need to have a pantry filled with the freshest veggies, fruits, seeds and other plant-based foods.

How to choose Dried Fruits wisely?

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How many of us make the mistake of eating a handful of Dried Fruits whenever?Just because it’s fruit, doesn’t necessarly mean is healthy and that you should eat large amounts here and there…

But don’t take me wrong. Having a wide variety of dried fruits on hand is a great way to satisfy sweet cravings while making your snacks continually interesting and exciting.

When you are buying dried fruits, however, is very important to read the ingredients in the package – in fact, not only in dried fruits package – dried fruit should consist of only one ingredient: FRUIT. But, unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Here’s a few tips for choosing the best dried fruits for you.

Watch for added sugars:

Dried fruit is sometimes sweetened even further with extra sugar – buhuuu – exactly the type of thing we are trying to avoid. Make sure you purchase the non-sweetned choices.

Choose fruit sweeteners:

In a couple of cases of naturally tart fruits like cranberries you have to add something to make the dried fruits edible. So what do we do in these cases? Some manufacturers spare us the cane sugar and use apple or grape juice onstead to sweeten. This is a great “natural” way to heighten the flavour to the fruit without adding more sugar than you need.Look for these at the store as well.

Check the preservatives:

Not all preservatives are bad! Ascorboric acid, for instance, is simply vitamin C and extends the shelf life of the fruit.

Unfortunately, dried fruit is often pumped full of some other not-so-nice preservatives – like sulphur dioxide – to make the package items softer.

Sulphur dioxide is not easily digested, compromises the immune system and is often the culprit behind allergies.

Every time I pick up a product at the store and see sulphur dioxide on the package, it immediately goes back to the shelf…and you should to the same!

Xx

30-Day Slim Down Challenge

Just in time for your get-healthy, be-stronger, love-your-body resolutions, our Shape Slim Down Challenge has everything you need. Join us for this exclusive 30-day diet and workout challenge that will give you lasting results.

We want you to feel better than ever this year, and this Slim Down workout-and-eating plan can help you get there. You’ll repeat each exercise weekly, adding reps as you go along. Combine these mega moves with our healthy eating tips that challenge you to make small changes throughout the month, and you’ll be svelte and slim right on schedule for Valentine’s Day!!!

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Plyo Push-Up
Start on the floor in a palm plank. Push into palms to explode body off floor (feet stay planted), clapping hands if possible. Land in start position with elbows soft. Repeat.

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High-Knees Sprint
Run in place, pulling your knees toward your chest and vigorously pumping bent arms.

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Speed Skater Lunge
Standing, jump right foot to right, bending left leg and crossing it behind right to land in a deep lunge with right leg bent 90 degrees and on ball of left foot, leg slightly bent (keep butt as low as possible). Reach left arm across body to touch floor in front of right toes (to make it easier, touch right shin or just reach right). Switch sides; repeat. Continue quickly alternating sides.

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Jump-Switch Lunge
Standing, lunge forward with left foot, bending knees 90 degrees. Jump as high as you can, swinging arms overhead and switching legs in air. Land with arms by sides and right foot forward, immediately bending knees. Continue quickly alternating sides.

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Pilates Teaser
Lie faceup on floor with knees bent over hips and arms extended up with palms facing each other to start. Roll upper body up and extend legs until you’re sitting, body forming a V shape with arms parallel to legs. Pause, then slowly roll upper body back down, one vertebra at a time, keeping legs in the air. When your shoulders reach the mat, return to start position. Repeat. Continue slowly.

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Squat Jack
Standing, drop into a squat, bringing fists in front of chest with elbows bent at sides. Jump feet wide, straightening legs and swinging arms out to sides and up to meet overhead. Continue quickly.

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Burpee
From standing, crouch and plant palms on floor. Jump feet back to plank (keep abs tight), then lower chest and thighs to floor. Press up to plank, then jump feet toward hands. Lastly, jump as high as you can (make sure feet are under shoulders before you launch), clapping hands overhead. Continue quickly.

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Slim Down Your Diet

You can’t have one without the other—to see serious success this month, complete the fitness challenges simultaneously with these tips to get your diet it tip-top shape.

Day 1: Lose the Blame
Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame. So cast those feelings aside right away. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—that only makes it harder.

Day 2: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goal setting is crucial to any achievement, but when it comes to weight loss you want to focus on making large goals (and mini ones within that) specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-based.

Day 3: Ditch Added Sugar
Sugar is lurking in unsuspecting places—think juices and dressings, and many people are already consuming way too much. All that extra sweetness adds up to an increased risk for heart disease—say goodbye!

Day 4: Avoid Refined Carbs
Nutritionists suggest being a little stricter with your diet in the beginning, but the truth is, refined carbs are diet disasters you’ll be happy you ditched. These quick-digesting carbs offer none of the fiber and nutrients you’d get from their unrefined cousins, and can cause blood sugar spikes and belly bloat.

Day 5: Put Down the Drink
Don’t freak out! You can slowly incorporate a glass of wine back into your diet here and there, but if you’re serious about results, it’s important to cut out alcohol completely for now—it can wreck your fitness goals.

Day 6: Plan One Indulgence
By planning ahead for your treat or snack of choice each week, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or binge.

Day 7: Allow Spontaneous Indulgence
Cravings happen, and while you shouldn’t give in to every one, you can cut yourself some slack to give in to temptation once a week (within reason of course).

Day 8: Keep Grains in Check
It can be tempting to fill up on whole grains because hey, they’re good for you, but there is something called too much of a good thing. Calories are calories no matter how you serve them. Limit whole-grains to three servings a day.

Day 9: Eat Only When Hungry
Sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often you mindlessly munch just because you’re bored, stressed, or for no reason at all. Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry next time you reach for the bag of pretzels.

Day 10: Go for a Walk
Speaking of eating out of sheer boredom—any well-intentioned diet’s worst enemy—when you start to feel antsy and temptation sets in, head outside and take a walk around the neighborhood instead.

Day 11: Never Skip Breakfast
Start your morning with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast. Eating a substantial meal (or at least a balanced one) will set you up for more control and limit overindulging throughout the day.

Day 12: Say No to Junk Food
Even the strongest of willpowers are no match for the greasy junk food black hole. Studies show that junk food has an addictive quality that leaves you constantly wanting more…and more.

Day 13: NOP to Processed Foods
Processed food, which is often high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts hormones responsible for telling your brain you’re full. A.k.a., you’ll eat a lot more.

Day 14: Shop for Whole Foods
You’re wiping your diet slate clean of junk and processed foods, so fill the void with clean whole foods. Think veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats. Spend most of your time around the periphery of the grocery store where fresh produce and dairy is shelved.

Day 15: Meal Prep
Whether it’s knowing what’s on the menu from breakfast through dinner or actual prep work like cutting, chopping, and packing meals—planning ahead is your secret to success. You’ll be much less likely to make a pit stop at the vending machine or grab a burrito for lunch.

Day 16: Reorganize Your Pantry/Fridge
Don’t “store” food on the counter—put cereal boxes away and keep bread out of immediate sight. Experts say you’ll eat what you see. On the other hand, healthy snacks and fresh fruits should be kept at eye level or in plain view so they’re convenient to grab.

Day 17: Keep a Food Journal
Jotting down exactly what you eat each day has long-been known to have eye-opening effects on food decisions. It’s a great way to identify nutritional holes in your diet, as well as noticing a late-night snack session that’s setting you back from reaching your goal.

Day 18: Ramp Up Protein Intake
If you’re feeling sluggish or aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for, take a look back at your food journal. You may be falling short in the protein department. Incorporate more lean meats like turkey and chicken as well as tofu, legumes, and leafy greens.

Day 19: Put Veggies or Fruit on Every Plate
Lacking in the produce department? Make room for veggies at every single meal—in scrambled eggs, on a sandwich, as a side dish or main course. Research says the more fruits or veggies make an appearance on your plate, the fewer calories you’ll consume overall.

Day 20: Know Your Healthy Fats
It wouldn’t be called a well-balanced diet without some healthy fats, but the key word here is healthy. Fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts will fill you up and give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.

Day 21: Keep Portions in Check
You know just the right size for a grilled chicken breast, but what about less obvious items? Extra calories from salad dressings, for example, can quickly add up, so instead of thoughtlessly pouring dressing on a bed of greens, portion 1-2 tbsp. in a small bowl first.

Day 22: Track Total Calories
While it’s important to know that everyone’s required calories for weight maintenance and weight loss are different, one thing that’s true across the board if you want to drop pounds: calorie expenditure should exceed calorie intake. Around 1,500 calories a day is an average sweet spot for weight loss.

Day 23: Eat at the Table
Experts say you can easily underestimate daily calories due to forgotten snacks or meals you ate while standing. So even if you don’t have long, take a seat at the table and have a real meal—we promise you’ll enjoy your food so much more.

Day 24: Eliminate Distractions
According to research, eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day. Turn off the TV and leave the smartphones on silent in the other room.

Day 25: Slow Down
Research found that women who ate lunch more attentively consumed 30 percent less when they snacked later. Tricks to keep in mind: Smell your food. Chew it slowly. Don’t put another bite on your fork until you swallow.

Day 26: Downsize Your Dinnerware
Swap serving spoons for the regular size, and research says you’ll dish out about 15 percent less. Trimming the size of your plate also helps keep portions in check—plus the same amount of food looks larger on a smaller plate.

Day 27: Bust Out the Scale
The scale doesn’t have to be scary. Weighing in every day has been shown to help people lose more weight, and keep it off long term. Aim to step on the scale at the same time each day for the most accurate results.

Day 28: Reduce Sodium
Frustrated because you still seem squished in your skinny jeans? Salt could be to blame. Sodium is bloat’s BFF, and can cause the scale to fluctuate unfairly due to water retention. Cut back, and be aware of the less obvious salt-traps like cereal and salad dressings.

Day 29: Sleep 7+ Hours
Logging less than the recommended seven hours of ZZZs can not only make you irritable and groggy, but lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Hormones that control hunger skyrocket, and those that tell the brain your full are suppressed. Double whammy!

Day 30: Cut 100 Calories
In the beginning, you felt lighter and the scale agreed, but now you’re standing stagnant—what gives? Battle the dreaded plateau by cutting an extra 100 calories or so a day—now that you’ve lost some weight, your body simply doesn’t need as much fuel.

Cheers to a Healthier, Fitter and Brand New you!!!There is absolutely no excuse..

Xx

Happy and Healthy 2016!

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We ar 8 days into the New Year Guys! 1 week + 1 day into 2016!!!!

How do you feel?How’s your energy?How’s your motivation?How’s your new Year plans and projects?

I hope you feel as excited and as happy as I am…I can’t simply wait to see what 2016 has in store for me (i know it will be BUSY), my loved ones and for you!!I’m so happy to be posting New year wishes and resolutions  here in Lifestyle in Shavasana for 3 years now?!?Wow!!What a great Motivation!!!Thanks Guys!!

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes and each January, roughly one in three of us (including myself) resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.

It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible. 

I thought I’d start the new year with a blog post about the whole new year, new you thing because it’s a great time to adopt a new routine because a new year is, after all, considered a fresh start by many people – it took me 8 days to post it, even though it was written for 4 days already.

This post is to help you prepare for the year ahead so you can start the year working towards your health and fitness goals since these are the top 5 New Years Resolutions – every year – with a plan that’s sustainable – so you will be more likely to get past the end of January and still keep up the great exercise and healthy eating lifestyle.

It’s easy to think of new year, new you meaning that you need to jump in at the deep end and start hitting the gym five times a week while removing all refined sugars and processed foods from your diet forever. The usual thought is that you have to completely change your lifestyle and while it would be amazing if you could do that and stick with it, for many it’s just changing way too much in one go.

It’s likely you’ll find it easier to adjust to if you make small gradual changes instead; the reason most of us run screaming back to our old habits after a few weeks (or days) is because we tried to change too much at once.

The more you change the more you’re going to miss.

Make small changes gradually instead.

Try making small changes one step at a time – start by going to the gym (or doing whatever exercise you plan) two or three times a week, aiming to gradually increase it over time to about 30 minutes five times a week. Oh, and I can’t stress this enough…find an exercise that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to be running or the gym, it could be anything that keeps you active. You’ll be far more likely to stick with it if you enjoy the workout, so try a few different things and see what you like. Mix it up.

If you want to improve your healthy eating then aim to eat generally clean food. If you’re able to clean up your diet completely straight away then that’s amazing! If, however, this is the part you struggle with, take it one step at a time and aim to gradually eat less processed foods and sugary treats, choosing to eat clean instead.

It may not seem like much of an improvement (for example, when you first start) but if your diet consisted of mostly processed foods and sugary treats then it’s actually a huge improvement to even get used to 65/35 to begin with…this means eating clean food 65% of the time and treats 35%.

Take your time and allow yourself to feel comfortable before eventually working your way up to 80/20, (or 90/10 if you want) so you’re eventually eating mostly clean food (I eat 80% clean and 20% treats).

Adopting a generally healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’re on a diet; it doesn’t mean that you need to strictly eat only pre-approved foods and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you eat something that contains sugar.

The best way to approach the ‘new you’ isn’t to find the latest fad diet and attempt to survive solely on soup or smoothies, it’s to aim to make generally healthier choices. The hardest part of this process is learning to rid yourself of that horrible guilt when you eat a chocolate bar, but once you change your way of thinking and accept there is no wagon; it’s just a generally healthier lifestyle, you’ll wish you’d made that change years ago.

Make being healthy your main goal and, trust me, you’ll soon notice improvements.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask for my advice.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Xx

Decadent Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Guys…seriously….help yourself!!Sienna was literally licking the bowl!!!

Add this beautiful frosting to Cakes, Cupcakes, Muffins, Cake Pops, Cookies…to seriously whatever you want…even to your brownies..raw or not…

Vegan Chocolate Frosting
luxurious, velvety and absolutely decadent!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (16 Tbsp) vegan butter, softened
  2. 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  3. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted (i melt with the milk) and slightly cooled. I use Dairy free, Gluten Free, Soy free chocolate chips (you can buy at Lotus pharmacy in Taipa
  5. 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
Instructions
  1. Beat together all ingredients until light and fluffy
  2. Add the sugar in small amounts until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. If it's too thin, add more cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious and creamy frosting for your Cakes, Cupcakes, Cake Pops, Cookies, Muffins…You name it baby.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 2
velvety, rich, creamy and absolutely delicious
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened
  3. 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  4. 2 tsp - pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To a large mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese, softened butter and beat or whisk vigorously to combine. Then add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until thick and spreadable.
  2. Add more sugar to thicken (optional) . You want this frosting to be pretty thick so it won’t slide around, so keep adding powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency.
Notes
  1. This vegan cream cheese frosting will firm up slightly in the refrigerator as the butter hardens again, so keep it at room temperature to spread it then you can chill it in the fridge.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/

December’s Agenda

Uncategorized | December 5, 2015 | By

december_010

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

Vegan Gluten-Free GingerMen

 

Vegan-Gluten-Free-Gingerbread-Recipe-minimalistbaker.com_

The Festive Season, the cosiest and the most wonderful time of the Year is just around the corner and we can’t wait to embrace  Christmas and the Holidays with all our heart and soul.

The cinnamon and spices fragrances are already filling the houses of many and many of us…including  ours as we are welcoming another Christmas baking extravaganzas!!!Baking is as much a Christmas tradition as stockings and carols.

Fill your home with Christmas spirit  and sweet-smelling desserts with this yummy guilt-free recipes that are definitely kids friendly…

Put on your festive apron & best mood and get cooking with or without your little ones. I choose cooking with my little one!

Happy and Healthy Baking Guys!!

Vegan Gluten-Free GingerMen Cookies
Serves 25
Delicious stack go gingies that are crispy on the edges, tender and slightly chewy in the center They are absolutely addictive!!!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
38 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
38 min
For the Cookies
  1. 1 flax egg ( (1 Tb flaxseed meal + 2 Tbs warm water, allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
  2. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  3. 1/4 cup raw almond butter
  4. ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 3 Tbsp molasses
  6. 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened or coconut oil
  7. 3/4 tsp ginger
  8. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  10. ½ tsp ground cloves (optional)
  11. 1/4 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  13. 2½ c gluten-free all purpose flour mix
For the Frosting
  1. 2 cups icing sugar
  2. 1/4 tsp vanilla
  3. 1-2 Tbsp almond milk
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax egg
  2. Add softened butter, molasses, vanilla, almond butter, sugar, salt, spices, baking soda and beat on a low with a mixer, or vigorously whisk.
  3. Add gluten free flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir until well combined.
  5. Your dough should hold its shape when pressed, but not feel dry.
  6. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Carefully roll out dough to a little thicker than 1/8 inch between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper, generously sprinkling the bottom layer and the top of the dough with white or brown rice flour before rolling. You don't want it too thin or they'll be too crisp.
  9. Remove top sheet and, working quickly, dip your cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out shapes. Next, lift the plastic wrap (with all of the dough) and place it on a baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 5 minutes to let them firm up. This will make them easier to transfer to your baking sheet for baking.
  10. Next, use a lightly floured spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet, working quickly. Leave 2 inches for spreading.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they appear only slightly browned on the edges. They'll continue firming up as they sit on the pan. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Once cooled, decorate with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Notes
  1. If you’d rather not mess with cutting them into shapes, you can just roll them into little balls and bake them into some of the BEST, crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-insider ginger cookies.
  2. Store covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Lifestyle in Shavasana http://lifestyleinshavasana.com/