Archive for April, 2015

Why we should do yoga everyday

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After hosting the second Yoga-Acupuncture Workshop at the Bexley Public Library last weekend with Jenna Long, I have been thinking a lot about how beneficial yoga is for all of us.

To be clear, I am no yogi. I don’t put on yoga pants, and go take yoga classes (I have in the past, but I have to adjust my routine according to life schedules). But I practice some form of yoga daily, in the comfort of my own home. The only things I have in common with ‘real’ yogis are my yoga mat, and a firm belief that connecting my breath with my body, even for a few minutes a day, can bring about so many healthy benefits.

For beginners, the thought of practicing yoga can be overwhelming, or even scary. Yoga’s popularity in the West has made it feel unattainable unless you are young, super flexible, and athletic. The truth is that yoga can be anything you make it to be, for anyone, no pre-requisites needed. The essence of yoga, I believe, is more focused in the breathing. If you allow me, instead of ‘yoga’, I may even call it ‘stretching while focusing on your breath.’ But that’s a mouthful.

There are countless forms of yoga these days… from ashatanga, to bikram, to hatha, and the list goes on. At the end of the day, however, all yoga involves some form of stretching your muscles while breathing, and being present.

So why is stretching while focusing on your breath good for you? Here are a few reasons:

1. It brings you back to the present moment. You are forced to think about where you are, and what your body is doing without being distracted.

2. You are increasing your circulation with each stretch of your muscles, moving Qi and Blood – your vital forces – concurrently to keep you healthy.

3. Your body weight creates a wonderful strength training session without needing hand weights, or adding extra bulk.

4. It relaxes your mind, and body, hence decreasing stress and anxiety.

5. Convenience: it can be done almost anywhere, at any time. You don’t even need a mat: you just need your body, and your breath (and we all have that, right?).

If you are new to yoga, I recommend that you start slowly and gently. There are plenty of YouTube channels and apps that have free videos to help guide you through simple poses or routines. It may take a few times to find something that you like (type in ‘yoga for beginners). Here is one option to get you started.

For non-beginners who don’t always have time for a yoga class (like me), try this, or this at home. It could be the best 30 minutes of your day!

 

 

Clean Eating Challenge – April 2015

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It’s Spring! It’s time for Spring-cleaning, inside and out.

I am hosting the 4th Bexley Acupuncture Clean Eating Challenge next week (April 13-20). Some of you have joined this free Challenge before, and some of you have been thinking about it. Right? If you are intrigued and would like to learn more (and receive the free guidelines), drop me an email! It’s fun to be part of this inspiring group of people who are committed to changing their diet and lifestyle for their well-being.

Go to Bexley Acupuncture website, and click on Contact Us. It will take you to a page where you can send me a message!

Now, for the Challenge itself.

I posted this for our first Challenge last July. The guidelines and thoughts behind the Cleanse remain the same. This time around, I am also adding the ‘Cleanse’ component for those who would also like to lose a few pounds during the Challenge (it has to do with a delicious GREEN SOUP, a recipe that comes with the free guidelines).

Below is the main idea behind the Challenge, and my own interpretation of ‘Clean Eating.’  Enjoy!

 

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CLEAN EATING CHALLENGE 

7 words for 7 days.

EAT FOOD. NOT TOO MUCH. MOSTLY PLANTS.

To be clear : this is not a cleanse, a detox, or a weight loss plan.

It is simply a way to eliminate (or significantly reduce) processed sugar, and processed foods from our diet for a week. We will eat healthier, and feel better (and some of us may end up shedding a few pounds). I have been wanting to do this for a while, and I hope that some of you will join me (because it is easier to do it as a group – accountability is the key to success!).

You probably know the benefits of eating less sugar, less processed foods, and to eat more wholesome, organic, real foods, yes? If not, watch this video. Dr. Andrew Weil did a wonderful job explaining why REAL FOOD is our best food choice.

There are many ways to ‘eat clean’, and you will find all kinds of books, websites, blogs, diets, and other things about it. For me, I was most inspired by Michael Pollan’s book: FOOD RULES. After spending a lot of time thinking about what he should actually eat (in this complicated food world), he decided, besides simplifying to the 7 words, on a list of 64 rules.

I am not a huge fan of (strict) rules, and can’t abide by a few, let alone 64. I want it to be the least complicated possible.

So for the purpose of our week long challenge, I narrowed the food rules down to 17. That’s still too many, really, but they all seem quite important if we want to eat healthier, and feel better about what we put into our mouths and bodies. And after all, there is a reason we are calling this a ‘challenge’, right?

Here’s my adapted version of Michael Pollan’s FOOD RULES:

  1. Don’t eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  2. Avoid products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.
  3. Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  4. Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.
  5. Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
  6. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader cannot pronounce.
  7. Avoid food products with the word “lite”, “low-fat”, or “non-fat” in their names.
  8. Avoid foods  you see advertised on television.
  9. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
  10. Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
  11. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
  12. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can.
  13. Buy your snacks at the farmers’ market.
  14. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.
  15. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.
  16. If it came from a  plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
  17. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles).

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Again, if you are interested in joining the group, please let me know!

Once I hear from you, I will:

  • Send you an email with a FREE guideline to the Challenge, complete with the Dos and the Don’ts (and the Green Soup recipe!). This is the guideline that I designed, and will be following personally. It’s pretty straight forward, and completely doable!
  • Invite you to the Private Facebook Group especially made for this Challenge. This is where we can keep each other in check, inspired, ask questions, share recipes and so much more.
  • Give you access to the Secret Pinterest Group where you will find all kinds of culinary inspirations during the Challenge.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  I look forward to connecting with many of you.

In good health,

Kit

NOTE: The advice shared in this document has not been evaluated by the FDA. The methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical care. Seek medical advice if you are under medical care for serious medical conditions, pregnant, breast feeding, or postpartum.