Tag Archives: health

sitting in bikram yoga

To Sit or Not to Sit? What Sitting in Bikram Yoga Says About You

sitting in bikram yoga

Every day your practice is different.

Ok, you are no longer a beginner to this yoga thing.

Or, maybe you are, but you struggle every day to continue pushing through every posture.  

My question to you is, “Why are you struggling?”

The second you begin to struggle, you are forgetting the first step of every posture, which is normal breathing.  Yes, this breathing rate might be faster, but you should never feel like you can’t breathe.

Sitting in Bikram Yoga can actually deepen your practice.

“Bikram says to to ‘kill you self”” 

  • Killing your “self” means to kill the ego telling you to have the best posture.
  • Killing your “self” means you don’t care if you are the only one sitting.  Your body needs the break today.
  • Killing your “self” means to avoid reaching for the security blanket of your water.  Do you really need it?  (If you do, you should have drank more water before you came.  I know–it’s not always easy.  I reach for my water bottle too, but it’s always my goal not to!)
  • Killing your “self” means accepting the body you brought today.  You may be getting sick. You may not have drank enough water.  You may have drunk too much wine the night before.  Whatever the reason, listen to your body.
  • Killing your “self” means you can look into your own eyes for 90 minutes.  You spend the rest of your life trying to live up to the expectations and demands of others.  Take the time in yoga to see what you need.

Part of learning to kill the self is learning to focus only on yourself.

I realize it can be tempting to sneak a peak at the girl in front’s standing bow, to grab some water, to make faces to your friend.  (And there are days where this is part of my practice, but it isn’t what my practice should be.)

This is not being present.  There is so much going on within your own body that you are missing when you focus on anything other than yourself in the mirror.  In fact, you may be struggling because of your lack of focus.  Days when I am actually able to stay fully present I find that I work harder than I have ever worked, have a larger pool of sweat on my mat than normal, and yet I find I was able to keep my heart rate lower and a smile on my face.  

I am relaxed while also killing myself and my self!

 

Next time you start to feel uncomfortable in class, don’t reach for water.  Don’t wipe your sweat.  Don’t look to your feet.  Don’t make a face to friend asking if it’s hotter than normal.  If fact, don’t even ask yourself that question.  It doesn’t matter.  What you should do instead is look to yourself for answers.

sitting in bikram yoga

  • Stare into your own eyes.
  • Take a long slow inhale.
  • Take a longer slower exhale.
  • Give yourself a smile.  It’s hard to have negative or anxious thoughts with a smile on your face.
  • Repeat this process as much as you need.

Some days you may have to take it to the floor from here, but still work to look into your own eyes.

Part of the practice and part of the yoga is getting in touch and accepting yourself.  Your body.  Your thoughts.  Your actions.  Your Present.

Today’s present and practice might be harder than yesterdays   You don’t know what tomorrows will bring, but today you will get more out of your practice remaining calm.

 

cross fit style workout

Waterfall Workout (cross fit style workout) – Dynamax Ball Style

cross fit style workout

All you need for this cross fit style workout workout is a Dynamax Ball!

Pyramid Workouts work by doing 10 reps of everything 1x through.  Then 9, 8, etc. and so on until you hit 1 rep of each exercise.

1.  Ball Squats:  Squat all the way down until your bottom touches the ball

2. Ball Slams:  Bring the ball over head.  Slam it down.  Work to catch it on it’s bounce to conserve energy!

3.  Burpees: Place the ball on the floor.  Jump out into a push up position.  Touch your chest to the ball.  Stand back up and place the ball over your head.  Make sure your chest touches the ball teach time.

4.  Sit Up To Stand Up:  Lay down on the floor with the ball over your head.  Pull the ball over your body past your feet, rocking up onto your heels.  Stand up and press the ball over head.

5.  Squat to Press:  Squat down until your elbows touch your knees.  Stand up and press the ball over your head.

6.  Medball Slams:  Sit down, knees bent heels on the floor.  Lean back 45 degrees and slam ball side to side bringing the ball over your head between slams.  (10 reps to each side)

7.   Push Ups:  Do 10 push ups with one hand on the ball and 10 with the other hand on the ball.  Travel over the ball between each and every push up.

Time yourself and record your time below!

 

sweet potato fries

Stuffed Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Every now and then I crave a juicy Hamburger!  The good news about eating Paleo, is you can indulge on these cravings!  You just need to nix the bun.  If you make Sweet Potato Fries you have a home cooked trendy burger treat.

Ingredients:

Stuffed Burgers

  • 1/2 lb 94% Beef
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Spicy Pepper (if you like)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese crumbles
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Sweet Onion
  • Shredded Romaine
  • Roma Tomato

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 sweet Potato
  • Sprinkle Everyday Seasoning
  • 1 TBSP Coconut Oil

Prep:

  • Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  • Chop sweet potato into frie size pieces.
  • Sautee with coconut oil and seasoning until golden.
  • Spread out on cooking tray and bake for 30 min or until golden and crispy.
  • While fries are baking, remove tops and seeds from peppers.
  • Mix beef with blue cheese, cumin, and egg.
  • Stuff peppers with cheddar cheese.
  • Wrap stuffed peppers with beef.
  • Grill on low heat (to melt cheese)  until cooked or sear on both sides for 1 min and then pop into oven for 5 to finish.

Calories: 516 Fat 36g, Carbs 13g, Protein 34g

vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna

vegetarian lasagna

You can always add meat to a Vegetarian Lasagna, but this meal is a great way for vegetarians to get more protein in their diet.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large Zucchini
  • 1 Stock Broccoli
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tsps minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp every day seasoning
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Mozzerella Shredded
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Cup Fat Free Ricotta
  • 1 Egg

Prep:

  • Sautee Tomatoes, Garlic, Pepper, Every Day Seasoning in a sauce pot.
  • Combine Mozzerlla, Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, and Egg.
  • Slice Broccoli and zucchini vertically into thin strips.
  • Layer Pyrex Dish with sauce, zucchini, cheese, spinach, sauce, broccoli, cheese, spinach sauce, zucchini, sauce, and finally cheese again.
  • Bake at 350 Degree for 45 min or until cheese is golden brown on top.

Calories 428, 14.3g Fat, 22.5g Carbs, 3.9g Fiber, and 55.8g Protein

cross fit style workout

Beat Your Time Cross Fit Style Workout

Ok, here’s how this Beat Your Time Cross Fit Style Workout Works:cross fit style workout

  • Do the following exercises below as fast as possible performing each rep with the best form possible.
  • In between exercises do 10 pushups and 10 squat jumps (or 20 squats if you have knee issues)
  • After you complete the 7 exercises, record your time.
  • Work to beat your time the next round through!
  • Record your time below to push each other!

Beat your time Cross Fit Style Workout Exercises:

Neider to Push Press:  Do each movement 20x

Toe Taps:  20 to each side

Advanced Single Leg Squat:  10 Each Leg

Lifted Leg 1/2 V-Up

Toe Touches: 20 Per Leg

Split Jumps: 20 per Leg

Russian Twist: 20 to each side

 

Equipment Needed: Med BallWeights

 

Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Mesothelioma Patients

Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Mesothelioma Patients

Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Mesothelioma Patients

Today I have a guest post from The Mesothelioma Center written by Faith Franz.  The nutrition tips for Mesothelioma patients are must dos for those with Mesothelioma, but also great knowledge for those just looking to boost immunity and decrease cancer risk!

Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Mesothelioma Patients

During mesothelioma treatment, your body needs as much support as possible. Proper nutrition is one
of the best ways you can give yourself an advantage. The right foods can give your body the energy it
needs to sustain recovery, the nutrients that are necessary to fight off the cancer and even a natural
way to manage side effects. After diagnosis, patients must discuss their initial prognosis with doctors.
This includes life span, which is based on certain influences, and eating healthy is a great way to instill
hope and improve their immune system with hospice care and the proper diet. Ready to see where you can adapt your
diet? Our favorite nutrition tips for Mesothemlioma Patients are below.

1.) Consult with an oncology nutritionist. Before changing your diet, make an appointment with
a nutritionist who specializes in treating cancer patients. They will make sure you’re meeting
your unique nutritional needs. For the most comprehensive option, see if your mesothelioma
treatment center offers access to integrative nutrition plans.

2.) Incorporate as many anti-cancer foods into your diet as possible. Certain foods have proven
anti-cancer benefits. For instance, garlic may induce cancer cell death, berries can help the body
clear out cancer-promoting toxins, and mushrooms can boost your immune system. Whenever
possible, swap out nutritionally empty foods for cancer-fighting powerhouses. One simple
substitution? Ditch your soda for a cup for green tea.

3.) Consider a plant-based diet. Vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with lower cancer rates.
Why? Fruits, vegetables and grains have extremely high antioxidant concentrations, while some
animal products contain cancer-promoting substances. (Nitrate-laden hot dog, anyone?) Even if
a vegetarian diet isn’t right for you, you can still base your meals on produce and whole grains,

while sparingly using animal protein as a side.

4.) Explore juicing.  If your appetite disappears, it may be hard to get nine servings of fruits and
vegetables every day. To work around this, many mesothelioma patients take up juicing. The
process extracts the essential nutrients but ditches the bulk.

5.) Try small, but frequent, meals.  Another way to cope with appetite fluctuations is to eat small
portions every two to three hours. This supplies your body with a constant stream of energy
without giving you the stress of too-large-to-finish meals.

6.) On that same note, respect your hunger cues.  If you’re hungry before mealtime, snack. If you
can’t force food down, step away from the table and try again later.

7.) Make mealtime as relaxing as possible.  It’s easy to stress over getting the right quantity and
variety of foods, but there’s no sense making yourself anxious during mealtimes. Try to make
it a calming experience, complete with relaxing music, nice dinnerware and enticing food
presentations.

8.) Be open to supplemental nutrition.  While it’s preferable to get your nutrients from whole
foods, sometimes that isn’t possible. Mesothelioma causes many patients to lose weight despite
their best efforts to maintain it. In these cases, supplemental nutrition can help supply essential
calories and protein. Your nutritionist will help you decide if (or when) it’s necessary.

9.) Plan ahead.  Many mesothelioma patients have times when their energy is so low it’s hard to
walk around the house – much less get groceries or cook. Instead of turning to convenience
foods or take-out, prepare extra batches of healthy meals when you do have the energy, then
freeze them for later.

Tip: soups freeze especially well. Try a vegetable + bean + barley combo!

10.) Manage your side effects through your diet.  Most side effects of mesothelioma surgery,
chemotherapy and radiation treatments can be managed through dietary changes. Nauseated?
Sip on mint tea, and avoid spicy or fatty foods. Constipated? Add extra sources of fiber, like leafy
greens and grains, along with lots of water. For diarrhea, do the opposite to reduce your fiber
intake.

Author bio: Faith Franz has spent nearly two years researching and writing for The Mesothelioma Center.

As an advocate for alternative medicine, she encourages patients to explore all of the treatment options that could potentially save their life, including medicine as CBD oils, in https://getkush.ca/ is one of the biggest online stores you can find.

Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.

Better known as CBD, it is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa (1Trusted Source).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

eagle pose garurasana

4 Tips to Improving Your Eagle Pose Garurasana

eagle pose garurasana

Eagle Pose Garurasana is the first twist in the bikram yoga series.

By the time you get to this pose, you should be sweating!

In Eagle Pose Garurasana you cut off blood flow to the right side of the body and then the left.  It is the first time in class that you begin to to transfer, move, and use the oxygenated blood that you have been working so hard to create.

For most, the first couple times you try this posture it often feels impossible.

Here are 4 tips to twisting yourself into a knot and making yourself the shortest person in the room:

  1. Step One in this pose is to twist your arms.  Once you bring your right arm under the left, focus on getting your hands together next.  I know it might feel like it might never happen, but the more you visualize it happening the sooner it will!
  2. Then work for the foot wrap.  Focus on pointing your toe back towards the calf you want it to tuck under.  The twist initiates at the toe.  Once you get the tuck, however, work to relax your foot as much as possible.
  3. Breath!  Once again the posture starts with your breath.  Maintain normal breathing as you set the posture up.  Normal breathing means to take long slow inhales and long slow exhales.  Once you get into the posture, work on sitting down more with your exhales  and arching your upper body back more with your inhales.
  4. Make sure you sit down as low as possible to start the posture.  Arch back as much as possible.  Then work to keep the body weight in your heel.  

Muscles Contracting:

  • Hamstrings
  • latissimus dorsi
  • abdominals
  • rhomboids
  • Ankle Stabilizers

Stretches: 

  • Opens up the 12 major joints of the body: heels, ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
  • Lengthens and stretches the leg muscles, most specifically the glutes and IT band.
  • The posterior muscles of the rotator cuff specifically the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor muscles.

Compresses:

  • Ankle Joint, Knee Joint, Hip Joint, Elbow Joint, and Wrist joint breaking down scar tissue.  

Stimulates:

  • Reproductive system and sex organs.
  • Kidneys
  • Lymphatic System
  • Central Nervous system
  • Immune System

Bikram says Eagle Pose Garurasana Benefits us by:

  • Improves flexibilities in the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists.
  • Eagle Pose supplies fresh blood to the reproductive system and sex organs, plus the kidneys, which increases sexual vitality and helps clear up reproductive problems.
  • Improves the function of the lymphatic system
  • Improves concentration and balance
  • Energizes the entire body completing the Bikram warm up by flushing blood from one side of the body to the other.
  • Stimulates better immune system function
  • Improves mobility of hip joints and balance
  • Strengthens the legs and calves
  • Good for improving varicose veins
  • Flushes out the kidneys improving the filtration of minerals such as calcium and sodium.
  • Good for Stress Reduction

Salmon with Red Pepper Cream Sauce

salmon with red pepper cream saucewas a Pescetarian for 4 years.  I know I need meat now, to keep my iron levels up but every now and then I crave fish.

 Salmon is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B2, B3, B6, A, D, and E, and the minerals iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous  and zinc.  

Salmon with Red Pepper Cream Sauce is an healthy recipe that is easy to make and will impress your friends with the pickiest culinary palates.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Salmon (Serves 4)
  • 2 Red Pepper
  • 2 Sweet Onion
  • Non Fat Half and Half
  • White Wine
  • Chives
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper

Prep:

  • Marinate Salmon with White Wine, Chives, black pepper, and some sweet onion sliced very thin  and let sit at room temp for about a half an hour.
  • Chop a sweet onion and red pepper into chunks.
  • Slow boil the onion and pepper with a 1/4- 1/2 cup of white wine (or water if you want to save the calories) but the liquid should evaporate out.
  • Slice 2nd onion and pepper into thin strips
  • Saute until onions and peppers begin to get soft.
  • Add Salmon to pan at medium high heat .
  • Cook 3 min one side, then 3-4 second side.  Salmon should be slightly rare in the middle.  You don’t want to over cook Salmon.
  • Add Sweet Onion and Red Pepper Chuck mixture to blender.
  • Add enough Non Fat Half and Half to blend down to a sauce.  (Should be approx. 1/4 cup depending on how your veggies cooked down.)
  • Serve Salmon on a bed of onions and peppers with Red Pepper Cream Sauce Poured on Top.

Calories 224 Fat 5.3g Carbs 12g Fiber 2.8g Protein 31g

 

padahastasana or hands to feet pose

4 Tips to Improving your Padahastasana or Hands to Feet Pose

padahastasana or hands to feet pose

Padahastasana or Hands to Feet pose is one of my favorite postures!

It is the first time in class your shoulders get a break, if you don’t have proper posture, we suggest to check this review!

By the time I am coming up arms and head together from Hands to Feet pose, I feel like I have finally awakened for my day.  My muscles feel exponentially looser and I feel as if my spine has lengthened a foot!

I was going through the posture correctors 2018 and came to a conclusion that Padahastasana had helped me unlock the secret to yoga:  Use your own strength to stretch your body.  It’s really no secret my instructors said it and now I say it all the time, “Pulling is the object of stretching!”  This posture, however, was the first posture where I actually found this to be true.

I used to and still have very tight hamstrings, but I do have to say that the muscle enhancement pills also helped out.  Every class that I am able to lock my knees makes me so happy.

Here are 4 tips to lock you knees, Lock Your Knees, LOCK YOUR KNEES!:

  1. Make sure to glue your body to your legs and get your elbows as close as possible to each other behind the calf muscles.  After you can grab your heels, your next goal is to touch your face to your shins–not to lock your knees
  2. Use your Breath:  Like every yoga pose, you want to maintain normal breathing in this posture.  With your inhales, pull harder on your heels.  With your exhales, roll forward weight in your heels and lift your hips up to the ceiling.
  3. Use your Quadriceps muscles:  The quadriceps is the hamstrings’ antagonistic muscle.  Your hamstrings bend your knee and your quadriceps extend the knee.  If you want to “Lock your knee” (or extend it)   You have to use your quadriceps.  The more you work to constantly and consistently contract your quadriceps, the more your hamstrings will be forced to slowly open up and stretch.  ****Using on your strength won’t pull muscles.  Make sure to never bounce into a posture.  Then you are using strength and momentum.  This combo can pull muscles.
  4. Imagine your Head Moving Down your Shins:  Once you can lock your knees, the goal then becomes to lengthen your spine.  Imagine your head sliding down towards your toes.  To do this, you will need to continue pulling with your biceps.  Then try to depress and retract your shoulder blades so you can use your back strength to open up your upper spine.

Muscles Contracting:

  • Biceps
  • Quadriceps
  • latissimus dorsi
  • rhomboids

Stretches: 

  • Spine
  • hamstrings
  • hips
  • glutes
  • Erector Spinae
  • trapezius

Compresses:

  • Large intestine
  • Small intestine
  • Abdomen

Stimulates:

  • Digestive System
  • Heart
  • Nervous System
  • Brain

Bikram says Padahastasana or Hands to Feet Pose Benefits us by:

  • Improves digestion
  • Stretches out the the wrists.  Helping with Carpel tunnel and arthritis, using Kidney Atlas.
  • Opens and Stretches the Hamstrings
  • Stretches the spine.
  • Improves Sciatica
  • Awakens you, sending blood to the brain.
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Tones the abdomen
lose weight quickly

5 Tips to Lose Weight Quickly

You’ve got a hot date this weekend,lose weight quickly

Your high school reunion is next month,

Maybe your sister is getting married and you want to look your best for the family photo.

Whatever the reason, we often find ourselves regretting our failure to stick to a healthy diet 1-3 weeks out from a big event.  We need to lose weight quickly!!

While a week or two might not be enough time to transform you into a Calvin Klein model, it is enough time to at least take away the bloat and perhaps drop 5-10lbs.

Here are my Top 5 Rules to Lose Weight Quickly!

1.  Nix the Sodium!:

  • There is so much sodium in the average American diet.
  • If it’s processed, you can guarantee that there is sodium in it!  
  • Check your labels, work to cut out as much sodium as possible.
  • What’s wrong with sodium you ask? Your body needs to have a certain level of sodium to allow the body to function properly.  When your sodium increases you must retain water to keep your sodium levels within normal saturation levels; unless until you have flushed the sodium out.  If you always eat high sodium foods, you are ALWAYS retaining water.  Nix the sodium and you might drop 3-5lbs in water weight right away!

2.  Stick to your Ratios:

  • If you want to lose weight eat 1g Protein for 1g of Carbohydrate you eat.  
  • Think about it, we call it low carb, but all you are actually doing is balancing your protein to carbohydrate ratio.  
  • This is why most diets seem to be “low carb.”  
  • Diets aren’t actually “low carb.”  Americans just eat too many carbs to begin with which is why you want to lose weight in the first place.

3.  Eat Veggies:

  •  If you eat enough veggies to balance out the protein you eat I promise you won’t be hungry.  
  • Veggies take up space filling your stomach.  
  • We often cheat on diets because we feel hungry: Fill up on veggies and you will have less reason to cheat.  
  • Veggies also contain lots of fiber to help you “push” some of the old crap you previously ate through the system.–You’ll feel less bloated when you have less sticking to your intestine walls.  
  • Season them with low sodium seasonings such as any of the Mrs. Dash line to add more flavor to your meals.  

4.  Drink Water:  

  • Your sodium levels do not balance out with one glass of water and the amount you drink can affect your eyesight, if your dehydrated and your eyesight is going away then try googling Eye doctors near me or visit your local clinician for treatment.  
  • Take eating sushi for example:  When you go out for sushi and have soy sauce with your roll it’s like you just consumed 1 tsp of salt.  Imagine instead of putting that tsp in your body you put it in a 8oz glass of water.  Now add 8 oz of water and pour half the glass out.  You are left with 1/2 a tsp of sodium.  After the next glass you’ll have 1/4 and so on and so forth.  
  • The more water you drink, the less water your body needs to retain to bring it back to it’s normally sodium saturation.  
  • Oddly enough, the more water you drink the less water you will retain.  
  • DRINK WATER!

5.  Don’t Restrict Calories Too Much:

  • The mistake most of us make is we restrict calories too much.  
  • This causes your body to go into “starvation mode,” meaning your body will shut down bodily functions to conserve calories.
  • If you cheat one day before you event you will stop losing weight and your body will for sure hold onto the calories during and after the function, making you rebound to a higher weight than you started at.
  • Eat at least 1200-1400 calories if you are female or 1400-1600 calories if you are male to avoid going into starvation mode!

 

If you look at any diet you will see it typically follows these rules.  The only difference is instead of telling you the science, they simple tell you the foods to eat.  Here are some “Safe” foods to consume and still drop weight quickly.  Stick to these foods, we’ll call it the What Courtney Eats Based on all the Diets she’s read about Diet.

Safe Foods:

Get creative!  Make something new!  I bet you won’t be bored.  Here are some recipes that might help you stay on track!

blueberry protein muffins

Blueberry Protein Muffins

Healthy Recipes

Chicken Tacos

chicken curry

Chicken Curry

green smoothie

Green Smoothie PB&J

And a couple recipes that will keep you on track.  Beware the following recipes do have cheese so make sure that you drink extra water to flush out that sodium!

Spicy Stuffed Pepper Burgers

Spicy Stuff Pepper Burgers

Spinach crust pizza

Spinach Crust Pizzas

gluten free lasagna

Gluten Free Lasagna