Pause. Be in the now...
SUPERFOODSPosted June 24, 2011
Recently I listened to an IIN lecture about SuperFoods. I was surprised to realise that so many of the random health products my dad brought home when I was growing up are now classified as SuperFoods… thanks dad! Oh, and sorry I didn’t care back then… oops. That’s not to say I wasn’t fascinated as a child. Especially when my father explained that those amazing little bees carried pollen from flowers in their own purpose built ‘baskets’ all over their body! But to be honest, unless I could visualise a little bee with pollen filled baskets I was too busy building tents in my bedroom to pay attention or understand the worth of these SuperFoods. Whatever dad brought home I would eat/take, mostly because I was too scared to say no but now I’m on this journey and have learnt about the value of SuperFoods in our diet I would gladly welcome a delivery from the old man. So, what are SuperFoods? Well, it depends who you are asking. The macrobiotic crew classify wholegrains, green tea, berries, leafy greens, sea vegetables and fermented soy products (to name a few) as SuperFoods. And yes, they definitely pack a punch. But then there are the SuperFoods which are far from ‘new’ but only becoming more mainstream now. Thesen are frequently seen in the diets of vegans looking to maximise their nutrient intake. The more unusual kind like Hemp Seeds (which you can grow in Australia but can’t consume!), Kamu Kamu, Maca, and Bee Pollen. Either way, SuperFoods are the foods that sit head and shoulders above others in similar categories. Nutrient dense with long held healing and medicinal qualities. Maybe you are thinking that some SuperFoods are just another product with empty promises being marketed to us… or maybe some of them are actually quite spectacular in what they can bring to the table. Whichever way you see SuperFoods the only real way to answer is to try them yourselves. Pay attention to how they make you feel – do you feel fuller, more energetic, revitalised? Seeing as some of the SuperFoods around today have long been part of the diet of many ancient cultures, such as the Mayans and Aztecs, surely they got something super out of these foods? We used to supplement our diet with Propolis, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Raw Honey and yep these are now widely available SuperFoods. There are also incredibly nutritious plant products such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, acai, chia seeds and more. Incredibly powerful sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients. In the words of David Wolfe (Raw Food, Health and Nutrition expert) these SuperFoods ‘represent a uniquely promising piece of the nutritional puzzle’. So how do you get them into your diet? Do your research first and make a decision for yourself what you’d like to include in your diet. As these SuperFoods are so incredibly nutritious it’s best to consume them as close to their natural state as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t bake or cook with them but to really get the most out these SuperFoods I say get your smoothie on. A morning smoothie, packed with a variety of SuperFoods, will leave you feeling fresh and bouncy. The fibre from the fruit and veg is great for your bowels and a well stocked smoothie can be a great breakfast on its own for those that struggle to eat a large meal in the AM. My favourite smoothie is a Green one and with the added SuperFoods it really is the most easily digestible hit of nutrients. Try this out: • Handful of cos lettuce • Handful of spinach • Squeeze of lime juice (helps with the absorption of X in spinach) • 1 cup of 100% organic apple juice (avoid anything with added sugar/additives) • 1 banana (frozen is fine) • 1/2 cup of blueberries (also frozen – buy in bulk www.berryman.com.au • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (soak in water first) • 1 teaspoon spirulina • 1 teaspoon cacao (be generous here!) • 1 teaspoon pure powdered acai • Dash of cinnamon (blood purifyer) • Ice Blend! What you will get is a dark greeny, brown smoothie that probably looks pretty off and unappealing. But to be honest, the more unattractive the better. The taste? I’ll just say this, my boyfriend, Chris, who is a chorizo loving, meat advocate who feels cheated if there is no bacon with his breakfast absolutely LOVES this smoothie. He loves it more than the berry/yoghurt/honey/cacao concotions I do when I’ve run out of greenage. That’s got to say something, right? But, in short. They rock. I’m going to continue my experiment with SuperFoods and I’ll update again… I’ll see what other smoothie recipes I can come up. Oh and I’m also attending a ‘cooking with cacao’ workshop. Which is basically a day of cooking and eating chocolate yumminess made with pure cacao. Soon, I’ll also break down the nutrient information around some of these SuperFoods. A little teaser – one of the richests natural sources of Omega 3! Have you included Smoothies, SuperFoods or anything similar into your diet? What do you think about SuperFoods? Signing off with a big exhale… Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more
HEAD IN THE BOOKSPosted June 20, 2011
This year I’ve started studying… again. I say again because in 2010 I completed my teaching certificate in hatha yoga. It was a really intense year – my social life suffered and my body underwent alot of physical transformations. Not to mention trying to absorb information from ancient texts whilst learning all the yoga poses in sanskrit! But I loved it. I mean, really deeply connected with it. The community created amongst the teacher trainees, the shared experiences, the joy in our achievements, the chance to fully immerse myself in my passion, the internal exploration and overcoming my fears of standing in front of people, teaching them. So, 6 months ago when I finished the course I decided to take everything slow no studying, teach a little … which goes against every instinct I have. I tried, really I did. But by May I was itching to sink my teeth in again. I had noticed that I was pouring over the nutrition magazines and blogs. Having come from a family built on health, nutrition and fresh whole food it came as no surprise to many that I was gravitating towards nutrition and holistic wellness. It came as a surprise to me though! Yoga had changed my life in so many ways but ultimately it had brought me full circle. To a place of balance, happiness and a desire to live in health, the seeds of which were first sown by my parents. Despite having told myself I needed to slow down and assimilate everything I had learnt during teacher training, I jumped into the deep end. Again. After hearing about this course three times from three seperate sources I decided it must have been a sign. But I ignored it. To drill the message home to a clearly ignorant person (me) I heard a little voice, which I sincerely hope was mine, during meditation one morning. It basically woke me right up and pushed me to enrol. Two weeks before the start day I enrolled in The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. A New York based school with an amazing online course that covers over 100 dietary theories, speakers and lecturers such as Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and David Woolfe. A course that will certify me as Holistic Health Coach. Hopefully the perfect compliment to my yoga teaching. Which brings me to this blog. It is this course at IIN that has driven me to finally take the leap and start this blog. Mostly to download and integrate everything I am learning and to share it. I’ll be sharing more soon on IIN. Signing off with an Exhale. Pause.Listen.Live. Read more
BLOGGING & YOGA & ME…Posted June 19, 2011
I’ve been thinking about ‘blogging’ for a while. I deal with countless bloggers through my work as a PR Manager and have therefore always associated blogging with work. Despite that, something has been telling me that I need to do this. Or should I say someone (more than one someone!) has been telling me to do this. After a little push from my beautiful friend Emma, who has a special knack in simplifying the things I over complicate in my mind, well here it is, or, here I am. Blogging. Ready to download the information that I so often share to my friends (mostly unsolicitied!) and create a space to explore the things I love. I welcome you. If my world of yoga, wellness, nutrition, life and more gets your attention and you find my little journey interesting then please reach out to connect. So here it begins. With a little story about yoga – what else?! There’s no denying that I love yoga. I think about it obsessively, I attend five – six classes a week, practice outside when it’s sunny and inside my yoga room. I even chose a travel back-pack for South America that I could strap my mat to. My yoga crush isn’t uncommon these days; I’m not alone in this love affair. People everywhere are walking their downward dogs daily, trying to overcome the fear of standing on their head or relishing in the joys of savasana (aka lying flat in a sleep-like position). What is different is how I came to yoga in the first place. It wasn’t because of some divine calling or quest for spirituality nor was it a desire to wrap my legs around my head, although that would be a bonus. Yoga and I found each other through my work in PR. Almost three years ago during my interview with my current employment, I learnt that every Friday morning the team would trundle off together to an 8am Iyengar Yoga class, followed by a coffee. That was by the far the most awesome thing I’d heard from a potential employer. I wasn’t a yogi but I did like the idea of yoga and I loved, even more so, the thought of doing something a little different with colleagues. Sold! So, off I went where I was manipulated, adjusted and encouraged (read: forced) into postures my stiff body had never been!. Despite waking up every Saturday morning aching in all sorts of (wrong) places, I stuck to it. Soon, it became my religion. I noticed that my normally strung-out, easily stressed self had somehow chilled. I was coping better in those anxious moments at work; I was calmer towards my colleagues and was in a better mood, more often. Not to mention the fact that I was performing headstands and backbends – things that would have me floating in a bubble of energy and love – mostly directed to my colleagues. (Matt, I love you, have I ever told you that?) Eventually I decided to channel my love into a new challenge and as a result completed my teaching certificate in Hatha yoga. I think to myself, imagine if I hadn’t found this job? Where would I be, yoga-less, unhappy and unaware? I’m not saying that I am perennially walking around with a vacant smile saying, “I bring you peace, I bring you life”.I still have bad days, but I feel a little more stitched together, whole. Like I can sort through the crap and just get to the positive with much more ease. There it is. A little intro and a bit of insight into my love affair with yoga. I look forward to bringing you a little more Saha into your life, soon. Tell me, do you practice yoga? How did you come to yoga? How does it make you feel? Cx Read more