Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5 Benefits of Yoga

As you all know, I'm working on getting my yoga certification so I can teach and share yoga with others. Here are just a few of the things I'm learning about the health benefits that yoga has to offer.

Yoga differs from other types of physical exercise in that it works your mind, body, and spirit. So while you're physically getting stronger (asana), you are also practicing your breathing (pranayama), and you're working on meditation (dhyana). The combination of these areas make for unique benefits.

Benefits of Yoga:

1. Happier Workout: Research has continually shown that by not triggering the "fight or flight" response while working out (like you do in most sports and exercise), you will feel happier and more refreshed after working out. By keeping an awareness of breath and continually being mindful of your practice, you are able to become very relaxed while still having an intense workout.

2. Weight Loss: Yoga helps with weight loss, not only because it is a workout but because it reduces your stress, which is one of the triggers of weight gain. It has been shown through research that when your body releases cortisol (a stress hormone), your body has greater difficultly losing weight. Yoga reduces your cortisol levels and increases your dopamine levels. 

3. Less risk of Disease: Yoga has been shown to reduce your risk of disease and even be a good treatment of some diseases because it helps your immune system, lung function, brain function, and so much more. The many different poses (asana) are great cleansers and do great things for your organs. Yoga can help with and prevent high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. The breathing practices can also help with asthma.

4. Decreased Stress: Yoga helps to reduce your stress because through use of breathing techniques and practicing them, you can train the autonomic nervous system to work in your benefit. This will help you not only while you're practicing yoga, but in stressful situations and in everyday life. 

5. Body Benefits: Of course we all know that yoga increases our flexibility, improves balance, builds muscles, gives us better posture, and promotes us spiritually. 

This is a great quote by Elliot S. Dacher MD who wrote Whole Healing: A Step-by-Step Program to Reclaim Your Power to Heal":

 “Yoga is a way to get to the source of ourselves. The challenge is not to see yoga as a treatment for disease, but as an opportunity to see something deeper in the self. To reconnect with the body is one way of artfully facing the reality of pain in our life and a means for accepting and being in our lives more deeply.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ten Benefits of Orange, Lemon Water

A great thing to do before you go to bed is to make orange, lemon water. I love to do this, and then when I wake up in the morning, I have a delicious and refreshing beverage waiting for me in my fridge to jumpstart my morning. The benefits of the water are wonderful, too. 

Here are 10 great benefits of orange, lemon water (besides the fact that it tastes delicious):

1. It cleanses your body. This is why I love to drink this in the morning. It helps to make you feel refreshed and renewed. The lemon helps your liver function by increasing enzymes and works as an antiseptic to cleanse your blood, liver, and other organs. Iron and B6 in oranges help to clean the blood as well. 

2. It's good for your heart. Both lemons and oranges are rich in potassium which promotes heart health among other things. 

3. It's good for digestion. Lemons help the digestion process in general, but they furthermore help with specific digestion problems like heartburn, bloating, gas, and more. By drinking it in the morning, it is a great way to promote good digestion throughout the day. Also the fiber in oranges help with digestion and constipation. 

4. Fights bad breath. This is another reason why it's good to drink this in the morning to help rid yourself of bed breath! 

5. Boosts your immune system. Once again, both oranges and lemons are filled with vitamin C, which is found heavily in our immune cells and are eaten up quickly when our bodies are fighting infections and other diseases. Our vitamin C levels also drop when we are stressed so it is important to keep vitamin C plentiful in our bodies! 

6. Prevents Cancer. Not only is Vitamin C good for your immune system, but by fighting off free radicals in the cells, it helps to prevent different types of cancer. 

7. Great for your skin! The anti-oxidants, like beta-carotene help to protect the cells from being damaged. This will help prevent wrinkles, signs of aging, and even blemishes too. It will help to make your skin glow! 

8. Helps aid in weight loss. Note that I use the word aid. The most important part of weight loss is exercising and eating right, but lemons will help in cubing hunger cravings. 

9. Lowers cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oranges helps to lower and maintain cholesterol. 

10. Reduces inflammation and mucus levels in the body. Lemons reduce your body's acidity, including in your joints which is one of the causes of inflammation. They also help to reduce your mucus level which is another great reason to drink it in the morning to loosen up your throat and chest after sleeping. 

These are just a FEW benefits of drinking orange, lemon water. Of course you could just drink lemon water, but I love to add the oranges for a special flavor and touch (and added health benefits). 

These are the 5 simple steps that I take to creating my morning concoction:

1. Before going to bed, take about 2-3 lemons and slice them up, squeezing the juice into a mason jar. 
2. Take 1-2 oranges and slice them up, also squeezing the juice into the mason jar. 
3. Toss in the lemon and oranges, even after squeezing the juice. 
4. Fill the mason jar with purified water or vapor distilled water. 
5. Put it in the fridge, and it will be cold and ready for you when you wake up! 

I don't normally drink the entire jar at once, but it is great to share, to drink throughout the day, or to have for the next morning! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Delicious Fruity Sangria Recipe


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 2 shots brandy
  • splash of orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale or club soda
  • (optional) 2 tbsp sugar 
  • Handful of fresh mint

  • Pour wine and brandy into a pitcher.
  • Cut the lemon, lime, and orange into slices. 
  • Squeeze the juice into the wine then toss in the fruit slices. 
  • Add the pineapple, the splash of orange juice, and the sugar (if you choose to use that)
  • Chill overnight or for several hours allowing everything to marinate.
  • When ready to serve, add the ginger ale or club soda, the raspberries, and mint! 
  • Serve as is or over ice. Enjoy!

Simple Watermelon Cake Recipe

Hello all! Sorry it's been so long since my last blog post. I was moving from city to city but finally will be stationary for a good while. I actually made this cake for the fourth of July but never got around to posting it. I took some better photos, but lost them due to technical difficulties so sorry about the quality. Anyway, this recipe is great and it turned out so tasty! It's the perfect thing to make for a party or just for fun at home, and it's much healthier than an actual cake. :)


  • 1 watermelon
  • Fruit of choice for the top ( I used kiwis, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries)
  • 2 cans coconut cream (cold)
  • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs confectioners sugar
  • Slivered almonds or coconut flakes for side of cake

Coconut Whipped Cream:

Scoop cream into mixing bowl and beat until texture is light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed. 


Cut both ends of watermelon, cutting how little or much you want for the height of the cake. After cutting the two ends off,  set watermelon flesh side down on either side. Then cut around the rind so that all you are left with is the watermelon. Then ice around your cake with your coconut whipped cream so that no watermelon is showing. Sprinkle almonds or coconut around the sides and top with your fresh fruit! So simple! 


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