Fall is here and the temperatures are dropping. How are you staying warm this season? Stripping down and engaging in a relaxing sauna session may be your best bet to raising your body heat while lowering stress levels. Here are a few benefits of cold weather sauna sessions!
Detox. As your body heats up, you start to sweat. This act of sweating for a longer period of time helps to detox your body through the skin. Impurities and toxins will flow from within, leaving you feeling clean and clear.
Reduce Cold and Flu. Resting in a sauna daily, or even a few times a week, can help increase white blood cells and improve your immune defense to colds. The high heat can also help to destroy the virus and bacteria by raising your body’s temperature.
Clear The Mind. It is no joke that the holidays are stressful. With events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, as well as ending job cycles, stress seems as if it is floating through the air. Relaxing in a warm sauna will provide you the necessary still moment to let your nerves rest and help to clear your mind. Taking the time to release tension and connect to your body, especially while detoxing, will leave you feeling lighter and present.
Warm Glow. Humans are designed to move. Movement is a part of us and in the winter months this can be daunting. A sauna session will open up your pores and allow your body to sweat as if you’re running or working out on the hottest day of summer– yet it is cold outside! You will be left with warm, rosy skin post sauna session. Just make sure to rehydrate with water.
Recovery. Whether you tumble down the ski slopes, have a burner session at the gym or simply experience annoying day to day aches and pains, the sauna will help your body to recover. Pain goes deep into your muscle tissues and it is important to warm them up to rid the aches. The heat will release the tension stored in our joints and muscles, allowing your soreness and aches to dissipate.
We are in the midst of the hottest part of the summer in Central Texas; your body is working hard, and it’s essential to replenish all the vital nutrients it needs!
Omega fatty acids can help lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, fight against depression, dementia, and arthritis. It’s important to remember that our body cannot produce them on its own; you have to consume them in food, or take supplements. The best source of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, is in fish.
High intakes of dietary nitrate, like that found in arugula, have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance. This is great when your body is working extra hard during the heat! Consuming 2 cups of arugula will provide an intake of 20 percent of vitamin A, over 50 percent of vitamin K, 8 percent of vitamin C, folate, and calcium needs for your day.
Did you know that Avocados contain more potassium than a banana? Avocados are packed with essential nutrients, and ideally should be consumed daily!
In avocados, you will find:
Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
Folate: 20% of the DV
Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
Potassium: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
Avocados also contains magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
Safe to say, in this yummy medley, you will be consuming a meal of superfoods.
Ingredients You’ll Need
4 (5- to 6-ounce) wild caught salmon filets
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups baby arugula
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon.
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cloves of minced garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Begin by prepping your dressing so that the ingredients may have time to meld together. Mince your fresh garlic, and mix into the olive oil, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Add in the fresh dill, cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper, and Himalayan salt.
Place freshly sliced smoked salmon in a bowl, and pour the dressing over, set aside, and allow the fish to marinate.
You may leave the arugula in whole leaves, or slice into smaller bites. Dice the fresh avocado into cubes, and mix into the greens. Add in the salmon, and pour the remainder of the dressing over the ingredients, stirring together.
When we think about nature and health, we think of green.
Green vegetables contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect our cells. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Leafy greens give the body folate. The word folate describing the B vitamin originates from the Latin root word folium, which means leaf. The function associated with folate is varied and works in conjunction with other nutrients. Folate deficiency is common, and leads to a multitude of health problems including digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and most famously perhaps, birth defects. Folate is also crucial in epigenetics (external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off without changing the DNA sequence), through a process known as methylation, where folate acts as a methyl donor promoting cellular differentiation. Folate is also essential for DNA and RNA synthesis, amino acid production, and cell division. To put it plainly, you really, really need folate in your diet.
Greens lead to longevity.
Ingredients You’ll Need
2 cups greens, kale, spinach, chard, and arugula
1 pound broccoli florets (about 10 cups)
4 large eggs
8 ounces sugar snap peas
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked grains, such as farro, quinoa, and/or brown rice
2 cucumbers, halved, sliced
2 avocados, halved, pitted, sliced
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup edamame
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup Bulgarian yogurt
2 1/4 teaspoons himalayan salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup mixed chopped cilantro, parsley, chives, and tarragon
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss broccoli with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until charred and tender, 15–20 minutes.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add eggs, cover, and cook 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water (keep cooking water boiling) and let cool. Peel eggs.
Add sugar snap peas to boiling water and cook until bright green and just slightly tender, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with ice water.
Purée yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a food processor until smooth.
Toss grains, 1/2 cup dressing in a large bowl. Mix in broccoli, edamame, snap peas, cucumbers, and the mixed greens into the bowl. Top with avocado slices, pumpkin seeds, sliced eggs, and remaining herbs. Use any remaining dressing for drizzling atop your mix!
At Bouldin Creek Cafe in Austin, Texas, Tarzan’s Big Salad is becoming a local legend. With the perfect fusion of raw and sautéed ingredients, this dish will leave you begging for more. In an exceptional display, you will find an array of ingredients including seasoned roasted portobello, stir-fried broccoli tossed in nutritional yeast, local tomatoes, carrots, avocado, sunflower sprouts and seeds, layered with chipotle-pecan pesto, ginger miso dressing, and organic mixed greens.
Nutritional yeast is high in protein, and is a significant source of B-complex vitamins, iron, fiber, and thiamine. Often used as a cheese substitute, the flavor is described as nutty, savory, cheesy, and creamy. It makes for an excellent superfood with super flavor to add to nearly any meal.
What You’ll Need
organic mixed greens
sunflower sprouts & seeds
Mince ginger and garlic, and heat in a pan with coconut oil, stirring in salt, pepper, portobello mushrooms and broccoli. Sauté on medium heat for five minutes, or until the mushrooms and broccoli are a bit soft.
Stir together more minced ginger and garlic with chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, pesto, miso, and chipotle salsa, and begin preparing your vegetable medley.
Shred carrots, and chop avocado, tomatoes, and sunflower sprouts, and stir into mixed greens. Add your dressing, and let the ingredients begin to marinate together.
Once mushrooms and broccoli are heated, layer with nutritional yeast, and mix into the greens and veggies that you have marinating.
Summer is the time of year when we want to be lighter and more energetic. We want clarity of mind, and optimal health in our bodies. It’s the time of year where we spend more time outside, with less clothing, so we want to look and feel our best!
We are beginning a weekly series of healthy recipes to help you become inspired to take charge of your nutrition by eating cleaner!
The 10-minute Thai Cucumber Salad
Ingredients You’ll Need
2 organic cucumbers
1 shallot, minced, or 1/4 cup of red onion
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of freshly minced coriander or cilantro
1 fresh red chili pepper with seeds removed
1/4 cup of chopped roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp. of fish sauce
1/2 lime squeezed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup of cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. of honey
Begin by making your dressing, so that the garlic and herbs can marinate in the sauce while you prep the other ingredients. Mince the green onions, coriander, garlic, shallots, and red chili peppers, and mix them together in a measuring cup. Measure and pour in the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and honey. Stir the dressing until you have a paste, and let it sit while you prepare the cucumbers.
Thoroughly wash the cucumbers so you may leave the skin on, and remove each end. Slice paper thin, and place in a bowl with the chopped peanuts. Mix in the dressing, and place the salad in your refrigerator to allow the cucumbers time to soak up the flavor!
Palo Santo, or the holy tree bursera graveolens, is native throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and the Galapagos Islands. It belongs to the same family of trees as the resins Frankincense and Myrrh, and it emits resonant aromas of citrusy sweet, earthy tones.
Palo Santo trees grow in groups of one male surrounded by eight females. The lone male outlives his female counterparts by up to a couple hundred years. Wood from female palo santo trees is golden, solid and heavy, whereas that of the male is white, hollow, fragile, and light. Shamans teach that Palo Santo trees have a distinct spirit that lives in the wood long after the tree’s life has ended, so they strongly consider this tree as a sentient entity.
This sacred smudging instrument has been utilized ceremonially for ritual cleansing, purifying, prayer, and healing for thousands of years. In traditional folk medicine, indigenous peoples and shamans across the Americas use Palo Santo to aid both physical and spiritual ailments ranging from stomach aches to stagnant or repressed energies. It is common for it to be forbidden to harvest the holy wood from live trees, but only collected from fallen branches and twigs, and must be allowed to dry and cure for 3-5 years. During this period, a magical chemical transformation occurs. The sap, once fluid in the living tree, proceeds to crystallize and form deposits, giving the Palo Santo its rich resin deposits that are the very essence wood. Thus, Palo Santo must undergo a metamorphosis beginning with a tree falls under natural circumstances, and remains resting for years.
The Incas of Peru and Ecuador use the rising smoke of Palo Santo to eliminate mala energía, or bad energy, rid negative thoughtprints, and clear misfortune. Indigenous peoples also prepare teas and tinctures from wood shavings to aid indigestion, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Essential oils produced from Palo Santo are used as topical emollients to treat arthritis and joint pain, and are widely used in aromatherapy as a pleasurable means to treat coughs and bronchial conditions.
Try a sample of this heavenly scent, and notice the healing properties take hold. How do you like to use Palo Santo? Where is your favorite source to buy it? Submit comments and questions below!
The ancient Egyptians called Aloe “the plant of immortality.” Today, the Aloe vera plant is used in countless dermatology and cosmetology products. Whether you are suffering from an outbreak, inflammation, eczema, or sunburn, Aloe Vera contents are miracle elixir. Break off a frond from the base of the stem so you do not harm the plant or waste any of magical gel, and put the frond in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
Aloe Vera contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are all antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. It also contains 8 enzymes that reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats. Aloe provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc, all essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways. It additionally contains Aloin and emodin, which act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals. It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid (the number one ingredient in all anti-acne products!) that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.
I’ll share a secret face mask recipe I dreamed up recently that keeps my skin clear and glowing! Open a couple fronds of Aloe and scrape all the gel and juices into your blender. Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, and half a cucumber, and mix on high until you reach a nice froth. If you are able to find calcium bentonite powder, pour some into a bowl, and then pour the contents of your blender inside until you have a clay paste. Apply generously to your face or the effected area, and leave on until it dries. Use a warm, damp washcloth to gently scrub away the mask once you are ready to remove it!
Oil-pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique for cleansing the mouth of bacteria, which is the number one cause of unpleasant breath. There are so many other problems throughout your body that can arise from improper dental hygiene, so keeping your mouth immaculate is key! Oil-pulling whitens teeth, strengthens the gums, teeth, and jaw, prevents cavities and gingivitis, gets rid of skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, detoxes your body, cures hangovers and migraines, helps with sleep issues, clears your sinuses, helps allergy sufferers, freshens your breath, and helps with pain issues!
The most pleasant substance to use for oil-pulling is coconut oil, and it also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Oil-pulling simply involves swishing the oil around in your mouth for about twenty minutes each day. You can split that in half if you do it before and after bed! Make sure to rise really well afterwards, because a lot of bacteria will be brought out from deep within your gums, and you don’t want to swallow it or let it remain inside your mouth.
If you are actually reading the labels of most products that you buy in the store, most companies sneak an excessive amount of sugar into the ingredients! It’s a wonder why sugar addiction and serious conditions like diabetes have become an epidemic across the world. There are many internal ailments that result in sugar cravings, including food allergies, adrenal fatigue, monthly hormonal changes in women, parasites, Candida, and bacterial overgrowth.
We are prone to crave what we are allergic to, it is our body’s mechanism to avoid withdrawal symptoms. When we experience adrenal fatigue, it means our system is overworked, so your body craves the instantaneous surge that sugars temporarily supply. Unfortunately, sugar put an excess of stress on the body, so consuming it will only worsen the condition. Pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, or a hormonal imbalance often causes the body to crave carbohydrates, expansive foods that slow down and relax the system. If a woman has been eating too many contracting foods, like salt and animal protein, she will begin craving expansive sweets to “open her up” in order to relax and ease the symptoms of the hormonal shifts. Bacteria, parasites, and yeast such as Candida all feed off of sugar. The more that you eat, the more you are inviting these unfriendly pathogens to thrive in your gut.
Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain called the nucleus accumben, which causes it to produce dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. Not long after, your dopamine levels will drop, and you will begin to feel low energy, or even depressed. Unfortunately, this is where the cycle of addiction starts, because we will soon want to eat more sugar to “bring us up” again. It is extremely important that we regularly boost our levels of Serotonin, the happiness hormone. We can do so by sticking to a clean diet (no processed foods, lot’s of hydration), an adequate level of exercise, and a healthy sleep schedule. When you have plenty of serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets. Eating fermented foods and beverages, sea vegetables, and drinking plenty of water will also help you avoid sugar cravings!
Making an herbal tea with a combination of Hibiscus, Licorice Root, Nettle, and Mint is a secret brew that will give you a delightful treat to sip on, while satiating the incessant sugar cravings. I promise it works!
Did you know that there is a psychology behind the use of color in your environment? Each color has its own immensely therapeutic effect on your state of mind, so how you utilize color in your modern home is essential to maintaining a positive and vibrant flow of energy.
Check out the links below to our articles on chromotherapy, and some of our most favorite selections of modern homes in each shade!
Color is a language of the soul. Utilizing placement of colors in your modern home is a way of cultivating a balanced environment.
Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant for human behavior and emotion. In branding, marketing, and home decor, the use of color will create and communicate both mood and meaning. Light and color exert influence automatically, and determine how people perceive the area around them.
Chromotherapy is a narrow band in the cosmic electromagnetic energy spectrum, known to humankind as the visible color spectrum. It is composed of reds, greens, blues and their combined derivatives, producing the perceivable colors that fall between the ultraviolet and the infrared ranges of energy or vibrations. These visual colors with their unique wavelength and oscillations, provide the necessary healing energy required by the body.
Chromotherapy provides colors to the electromagnetic body or the aura (energy field) around the body, which in turn transfers energy to the physical body. This makes chromotherapy the most effective among various therapies. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, the art of chromotherapy was discovered by the god Thoth. In the hermetic traditions, the ancient Egyptians and Greeks used colored minerals, stones, crystals, salves and dyes as remedies and painted treatment sanctuaries in various shades of colors.
Every color, each with its own frequency, is a form of energy. Behold the vast and beautiful spectrum of colors in these modern homes below!
Research studies have proven that the smoke emitted from herbs is a powerful antiseptic that purifies the air of 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours. The results of a study that set out to examine the uses of smudging in Western medicine were published in a 2006 scientific paper titled “Medicinal Smokes,” in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. According to the abstract, “All through time, humans have used smoke of medicinal plants to cure illness. The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body, and lower costs of production.”
In the same research periodical, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology stated that the absence of pathogenic bacteria in the open room, even after 30 days, is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the use of medicinal smoke treatment. “We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke, it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”
Our bodies have a dense electromagnetic field, or aura, that can become blocked with detrimental positive ions that cause us to feel lethargic and depleted of energy. By burning sage, the air is neutralized of positive charge, and the smoke releases a surplus of negative ions into the atmosphere. As a result, our energy and the energy in our environment will feel noticeably lighter. Burning sage is also utilized to heal the mind of psychic and emotional trauma. The smoke can be fanned around the body to remove emotional blocks in the energy field.
Sage has antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an expectorant, diuretic and stimulant. Sage also has a profound “estrogenic effect” on the body, so for women experiencing hormonal shifts such as menopause, symptoms of estrogen deficiency, or women who have had a hysterectomy, drinking sage tea can greatly benefit their system’s readjustment. A cup of good infusion can also aid a number of health problems such as joint pain, sprains, sore throat, colds, cough, kidney troubles, liver complaints, and digestive problems.
(Disclosure: Sage should not be ingested by pregnant women or those with epilepsy. Women who are nursing should only drink sage tea if their intention is to decrease their milk supply.)
Sage has a calming effect on the senses, and has a powerful aroma that eliminates all other odors from an environment. Any area of your home that is susceptible to undesirable scents is a great location to burn sage.The aroma from sage smoke increases relaxation, and can induce an energetic state that enables deeper meditation.
If brewed as a tea and cooled, sage can be used as a cleansing tonic for your hair. Especially for those with darker hair colors, rinsing your hair with a sage tea tonic will add a lustrous glaze to your locks. (Those with lighter hair should use this treatment with caution if they do not wish to tint their hair color.)
A Native American Sage Ritual Utilizing the Four Cardinal Points to Dispel Negative Energy
Facing North – I welcome the energy of wisdom and blessing and the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who teach me. Welcome Buffalo, and the spirit of giving away, teach me to be generous and honor all that I receive. I welcome the energies and spirits of the North
Facing South – I welcome the energy of service to all my relatives, the heat of the noonday sun and the spirit of action in the world. Welcome Coyote spirit. I welcome the energies and spirits of the South.
Facing East – I welcome the energy of the beginning way, the rising sun at the beginning of the day and the light of illumination. Welcome Eagle, flying nearest the heavens, with the clearest of vision. I welcome the energies and spirits of the East.
Facing West – I welcome the energy of looking within to find the gifts of healing. Welcome Bear spirit going deep within to seek the gift of renewal. I welcome the energies and spirits of the West.
Looking Up – I welcome the energy and spirit of Above. Father Sky, Star people, and Cloud people. Welcome all that is masculine, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons. And that masculine energy that also exists within the feminine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Father Sky.
Looking Down (touching the ground) – I welcome the energy of Mother Earth, the feminine principle, the energy and spirit of Below. I welcome the energy and the spirit of our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters. And that feminine energy that exists within the Masculine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Mother Earth.
Looking within (holding your hands over your heart) – I welcome the energy of Within, the principle of being connected, the energy and spirit of Within. I welcome the gifts of balance, oneness, and the connection with all things, for all things are one and all things are related.