Twist for Your Gut

Twist for your gut – what???? Hopefully you’ve been faithfully enjoying some fermented foods and/or including a probiotic since last week.  Today I’m going to share another super simple tip for helping aide digestion and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Twisted yoga poses Not a yoga fan?  Don’t stop reading.  Traditional twisted poses are fantastic for stimulating the organs in your digestive system.  They do this by creating movement in and around our organs.  So doing these types of poses can truly start things moving if your body is “stuck.” For those of you familiar with yoga, a simple spinal twist while reclined or seated is a great place to start.  If you don’t know anything about yoga, you could begin with Day 2 of the video A.M. Yoga for Your Week (which is in general a great beginning yoga video).  Whenever I feel the need to do yoga twists, I pop in this DVD and enjoy the series of poses.  It’s also a great sequence for back or shoulder pain.  The entire workout takes less than 25 minutes, so it fits well into your day in the early morning, lunch time or even evening. Another great resource if you aren’t ready to invest in a DVD is to check out this series suggested by Yoga Journal:  8 poses for better digestion. If you don’t have a regular yoga practice, I’d recommend starting out with 2 or 3 days a week and seeing how it goes from there.  Once the moves become second nature, you could easily start or end each day with 5 to 10 minutes of twists.  You’ll help your...
Feel Better While Eating

Feel Better While Eating

Do you enjoy your meals at the table?  Or do you scarf them down standing by the kitchen counter or over the stove?  Do you eat with your family most nights?  Or is the norm for you to each grab whatever you can whenever you are home? I know I’m not the first one to mention how important it is to eat together as a family regularly, but in addition to the often acknowledged benefits for your kids, there are strong health benefits for YOU too. By sitting down to eat, you are automatically going to eat better.   You’ll notice what’s on your plate – the colors, quantities and appearance.  If you start to pay attention to this you can begin to make small changes – smaller quantities, a wider variety of colors, etc. Challenge yourself to not just enjoy the company around you but to begin eating mindfully.  Chew each bite completely (this will help with bloating and stomach issues), place your fork down between bites.  Think about what you are eating and enjoy all the nuances and flavors. Delicious. Used to having the TV on while you eat?  Turn it off.  If you eat with the TV on, I guarantee you will eat more.  Your body doesn’t realize it’s full when it’s distracted.  And it’s easy to mindlessly shovel more food into your mouth when you aren’t paying attention to each bite. Why should you make eating mindfully a practice?  Because you deserve it!  You deserve to enjoy your meals – after all eating is a part of everyday so why not make it enjoyable?  Right?  In...
Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

I can’t believe it’s our last week in this series around creating calm and reducing stress.  Hopefully you’ve been practicing some of the breathing exercises, using your RC and eating more mindfully.  This week I want to turn your attention to another common area of stress – transition time. Although there are many transition times during the day (home to work; afterschool; dinnertime; bedtime), I want to dive into one that all of us working moms have – the transition from work to home.  Regardless of if you are physically driving home from work or simply attempting to turn off the computer and focus on your family, this can be an especially dicey and stressful transition. Odds are good you didn’t finish everything you wanted to do at work (do we ever?), so it can be hard to move from that work mentality to start enjoying your family.  Instead of making that transition rushed and harried, try slowing it down a bit.  Use it to switch off your work mind, release any negativity that invaded your workday and move into a calm, enjoyable evening.  Even if you  have an evening of running kids around planned, you can still change your attitude and make the most of it! Let’s begin… Step 1:  Leave work behind.  Close your computer – signify to your brain that work is over. Step 2:  Leave your office area.  Either get in your car, bus, etc. to drive home or leave your work area if you work at home.  Take 3 big inhales and exhales and smile. Step 3:  Find something that lifts your mood, and...
Just ONE Minute

Just ONE Minute

Have you been incorporating 5 minutes of calm in your morning?  Been practicing your 1 minute breathing?  If so, how have you been feeling?  Hopefully a little calmer?  Are you able to stop in moments of stress and redirect?  If not, just keep practicing and try adding this week’s lesson to your arsenal. I know some of you prioritize exercise.  Or at least you WANT to prioritize it and just do it whenever you can.  This week I want to encourage you to add just 1 minute of breathing to the end of each workout.  Just one minute and you’ll leave your workout session (whatever it is) feeling stronger, more centered and ready to face the rest of your day. It really happens.  Just try it if you don’t believe me. Why is this the case?  It’s simply the way your body works.  First, stress begins and ends with your breath.  When you get stressed or overwhelmed, you’ll start holding your breath.  Then you begin to tense your muscles.  Soon you feel worse.  If you slow down your breathing, your body will start to relax, your mind will stop racing and you can move forward in a calmer matter. A great way to begin is to add a short savasana to your workout.  This is the yoga pose that ends almost every yoga practice.  It’s often also called rest pose or corpse pose.  To do it, simply lay down on your back, legs and arms naturally turned up and out, close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply.  Allow your body to relax into the ground, feel your muscles...
Start Your Day with 5 Minutes of Calm

Start Your Day with 5 Minutes of Calm

This month we are going to slow things down. The crazy holiday season is coming so hopefully you can enjoy a little calm before it arrives. I’ll also be teaching you some terrific methods for reducing stress and calming your mind. Practice them now and they will come in handy for the rest of the year. We’ll start this series off with the way you begin your day. You wake up late or to a blaring alarm clock, rush around the house making breakfast, packing lunches, making sure everyone has everything in their backpack, getting yourself showered, dressed and ready for work – maybe grabbing a coffee to go? If that sounds like your current morning, then no wonder you start each day off feeling stressed and behind. Maybe you still have to do all that, but wouldn’t you love to begin the day with a few minutes of calm first? Amazingly, 5 minutes of calm will make the rest of the morning bearable AND put you in a better mood. Here’s how to do it: First things first, change how you wake up. If your alarm is annoying, why do you use it? Why not switch to music you love? My daughter set her alarm to birds chirping – love it! Next, hop on out of bed (so you don’t fall back asleep) and grab a glass of water – hydrating will wake you up gently and it’s been hours since you consumed anything so your body needs that water. While you are enjoying your drink, take a few minutes and appreciate the fact that it’s a new...
Go to Bed!!!

Go to Bed!!!

Just as critical as eating well, getting a good night’s sleep will help keep you healthy this fall.  Without adequate sleep our bodies start to run down and can’t function as well.  We start making poor food choices, we become more susceptible to colds and we aren’t able to fight off germs as well as if we are well rested. I’m sure you’ve noticed how you often get sick after a time period of being really overworked and worn out?  Late nights, stress and early mornings almost always lead to illness. Getting a good 7 to 9 hours of sleep allows your body to do its job to restore and repair.   Cut that time short and eventually you’ll start feeling it. Need some tips for a good night’s sleep? Create an evening routine to get your body ready to go to sleep. If you do the same few things every night at about the same time, pretty soon your body will recognize that this means sleep is coming soon.  This will make it easier to fall asleep quickly. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Don’t do that “one more thing” – if it is bedtime, go to bed.  This might mean leaving some tasks undone and that’s okay.  When you are well rested tomorrow morning you will be able to tackle them more efficiently (and with a better attitude). Try diffusing a calming essential oil or even rubbing it on the bottom of your feet – this can be very soothing and enjoyable as you drift off to sleep. Turn off all your blue screens – no TV,...

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