SPRING CLEANING and RENEWAL
Warmer weather is finally here. The long winter days are over. What are you doing to embrace the change in nature? Are you paying attention to your body’s needs, or is cleaning your yard the only thing you’re focusing on?
We live in a toxic environment, so our bodies are frequently in toxic overload. Detoxing in the spring is a great time to cleanse our livers and gallbladders. If you are lifting your eyebrows to the word DETOX, don’t fret. I will show you that detoxing is not really so hard. You just eliminate the trigger foods (wheat, soy, diary and sugar) and eat clean (organic, grass fed), delicious food. Drink plenty of water and alkalinizing drinks. You will also need a good dose of healthy, seven- to eight-hour sleep. Just imagine for a moment the benefits: melting fat, calming inflammation, healing the gut, clearing the mind, and more.
Besides cleansing your body, you need to cleanse your emotions. Are you harboring some toxic emotions, such as: anger, resentment, shame, guilt, regret, and bitterness? They can easily become the “enemy within” if you don’t release them and will damage your health and relationships.
What about the environment? Minimizing toxic cleaning products will have long-term benefits. These cleaners contain way too many ingredients that you don’t want to expose yourself, or your family, to.
You can make your own cleaning products using an apple cider vinegar and baking soda mixture. It can be used in the kitchen, bathroom—you name it.
Here’s another simple bathroom cleaner: make a paste with ½ cup of baking soda and enough water to form a paste then add 8 drops of bergamot oil and use to clean your bathroom.
The warm weather is calling us to spend some time outdoors. The clean air, the sun, the colors and sounds are healing and calming for the mind and body. This is an ideal time to connect with your loved ones and enjoy each other’s presence without interruption. No texting, reading emails or Facebooking while outdoors, please! Do a “gadget” detox as well.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Did you know that walking outside for 30 minutes has almost the same effect as antidepressants (such as Prozac)? That is a simple way you can improve your mood.
Heal your gut to heal your mood. Research has shown a direct correlation between gut health and mental health. After all, our gut is our second brain. Improve your mental health by:
- Eliminating processed food and food toxins
- Adding whole foods, healthy fats and healing foods to your diet
- Adding fermented food to support your gut microbiome
Be aware of toxic beauty products. The skin is our largest organ; it has a large surface to absorb toxins. Read the ingredients on your skin care and beauty products. As an alternative to store-bought moisturizers, a very simple and super healthy moisturizer is coconut oil. You can mix in a few drops of essential oils and some carrier oils like: jojoba oil, glycerin etc.
Empower yourself with knowledge.
One of my favorite cleansing elixirs is LEMON WATER. I like to start my day with this drink. It’s super easy to make it and so good for you. It cleanses the liver and alkalinizes the body.
Recipe: a glass of warm water, the juice of one lemon, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (Braggs is the best), and a dash of Cayenne pepper and/or ginger.
As we spend more time outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself from insects, ticks, spiders and bugs.
You don’t have to use any toxic spray or lotion. Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, basil, and peppermint will do the job equally well.
EMBRACE THE BEAUTY AND HEALING POWERS OF NATURE. GIVE PERMISSION TO BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF AND CLEANSE YOUR BODY AND EMOTIONS.
To your radiant health.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner; just walk into any store and you will be reminded with, candies, pillows and about just anything heart shaped. We get caught in the frenzy about buying a perfect gift. Stressing out if our loved one will like the gift we thought it is perfect; it will express our love. What if, besides buying a gift the most important thing to do is to step back and ask this question: WHAT CAN I DO TODAY TO MAKE MY SPOUSE/PARTNER FEEL LOVED AND APPRECIATED? Often time we take each other for granted. Forget the little things that made us so happy and excited when we were dating. With time we lose our temper, our spouse/partner is annoying, boring etc. and we ask ourselves “what happened”? The answer is: we became complacent, taking each other for granted. Relationships are constantly evolving and we have to work on them to keep them fully alive, exciting and fulfilling.
Relationships are important part of who we are and relate to the world. We strive to feel loved (one of the basic human needs) and connected to other people.
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Strong and healthy relationships are foundation of good health and well being. There are countless studies proving that strong relationships are directly connected to good health, , positive attitude, better work performance, longer life and overall well being. Being isolated or in a dysfunctional relationship is related to higher number of health risks, like: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, early death, shorter life span, lower productivity and self esteem.
One of the biggest challenges of modern families is to stay connected and find quality time for each other. Research states that the healthiest, longest-living people in the world all have something in common: they put their families first. I cannot stress enough the importance of spending time together, and expressing love and compassion to one another.
How many times you see families walking together, but completely “absent and distant” from each other by staring at their cell phone? Often times I wonder do they behave the same way at home?
Of course, the same practices apply to close friends as well. This is especially important if you don’t have living family, or have experienced difficult circumstances, such as abuse, that would make it difficult for you to connect with your relatives.
Few tips on how to restore damaged relationships:
- Learn to forgive and let go
- Practice gratitude
- Be vulnerable
- Communicate your feelings openly
- Appreciate the smallest things
- Accept other’s weaknesses and don’t try to “fix” them
- Create rituals together.
- Spend quality time together.
- Be a good listener
- Manage conflict; never go angry to bed
- Take responsibility for your own actions
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY TO THRIVING
On Valentine’s Day try to do this simple, short and free exercise. It is very powerful and you will be glad you did it.
On a piece of paper write down 10 things you like about your spouse/partner. In the morning find a quiet place for only two of you. Tell him/her how much you love and appreciate him/her and read the list.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!
HOW TO FINISH AND START STRONG
REFLECTIONS AT THE END OF THE YEAR
It’s been an exciting year for me. I have learned and grown a lot. I would say it was a successful year for me. Did I achieve all of my goals, you may ask? NO, I didn’t. But I am practicing a different approach: I am celebrating all the positive changes in my life and my business. I am grateful for every opportunity I had for growth, including my challenges.
There are so many things I am grateful for. This spring, I created my company and launched my website. The process of creation was an adventure in itself. Through the process, I found myself, my voice and my calling. That is so wonderful and empowering. It gives me the motivation and the energy to move forward, to push myself harder even when the circumstances are not so great.
I am looking forward to the next year with great excitement.
What about you, my dear reader? What did your year look like? I hope you are not forgetting to celebrate the little things as well as the big ones. It is easy to get caught up in the web of negativity and complaints. I’ve been there, done that; it’s easier for us to play victims—or I should say more comfortable to blame everything and everyone else for our circumstances. I want to tell you this: once you take responsibility and realize that you create your own reality, everything starts to change. Is it easy? Not always; we have to deal with our resistance to change. We sabotage ourselves because of our subconscious programming. Do not give up, ever. Change is possible, and you are so worth it.
REMEMBER: NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL YOU DO.
Are you among 45% of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions? It is great to start a year with a clear direction, and I want to share a few tips with you about how you can achieve your goals.
- When setting your goals, give some extra time to yourself. Do not write down mechanically (I used to do that); go deep inside and ask yourself, “WHAT DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE IN 2016?” Pause, then write down your answers.
- Set your intentions and focus on your goals.
- Define your WHY for each and every goal; why is the goal important and meaningful for you?
- Create the strategy for each and every goal (how are you going to make them happen).
- Take inspired action steps every day; do something every day that will somehow bring you closer to your goal.
- Celebrate your successes.
The key steps are: set specific goals, believe you can achieve them, and believe that you are worthy of achieving them. I want you to be among 8% of Americans who keep their resolutions.
My New Year’s resolutions:
- Focus on gratitude
- Share my gifts with the world
- Walk my talk
Feel free to share yours.
I WISH YOU THE HAPPIEST, MOST JOYFUL AND SUCCESSFUL 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Love and Gratitude,
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
I like to cook and bake, savoring the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in my kitchen. I still get excited to decorate my gingerbread men and sugar cookies. The best part of it is that I can spend some quality time with my husband in our kitchen.
This season can be filled with stress and anxiety beside the beauty and excitement. We are stressed out with busy work schedules, gift buying, parties, family get-togethers etc. I observe people rushing from store to store and carrying heavy loads of bags with a grim look on their faces—apparently stressed out. Maybe they are overspending and wondering if the gifts will be liked. Everywhere commercials are screaming at us “buy more, buy bigger and better,” and the pressure kicks in. Often, we are forgetting LOVE doesn’t come in boxes. Think about how can you show your family and friends how much you love them and care about them. Do something different this year.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” –JFK
I hope you won’t forget the most important person: YOU. And I don’t mean for you to be selfish and disregard others. If we feel tired, frustrated, miserable, or unhappy in our own skin, don’t you think it would be unfair to expect our spouses, children or family members to make us happy??!!
Try to find some time every day for yourself. Even is that for ten minutes and de-stress. Meditate, read something uplifting, do breathing exercises, visualize the golden healing light, listen to your favorite song…show yourself you DO care and other people will follow (mirroring your behavior). Self-love will create miracles in your life.
During the holiday season, we tend to fall off the wagon of healthy eating. It is not easy when we are surrounded with all those delicious cookies, lattes, candies, and glazed nuts everywhere. Follow a few rules to help yourself to stay on the healthy path. Remind yourself why you are eating healthy. Be aware; sugar is highly addictive.
- If you cook and bake, try to use healthier recipe.,Sse skim milk or nut milk. Instead of sugar, use natural sweeteners (honey, coconut sugar, stevia, Xylitol). Use coconut oil.
- Never go to a party or function feeling hungry. Eat beforehand (lots of veggies and fruits with low glycemic index). Have nuts handy, so when you are tempted you can munch on them (like walnuts or almonds, and choose raw and unsalted).
- Socialize!! Give yourself a goal to meet three people at the party and learn about them.
- Never go for seconds; put food on your plate and move away from the tables (if it’s not a sit-down setting).
- Drink plenty of water all day long; drink more than you do usually to flush all the junk from the body.
- Exercise!!! Even if you are very busy, set aside at least fifteen to thirty minutes each day to exercise. Fifteen minutes of a high intensity workout is much better than no workout.
- Take your supplements and probiotics.
Relax and enjoy the season. Don’t deprive yourself; just be mindful. Enjoy the get-together, the colors, aromas, and the music of the season. And, of course, the gifts underneath the Christmas tree.
I wish you the happiest of the holidays!!
With love and gratitude,
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s time for reflections and giving thanks. I have created a nice ritual with my husband. We cook, bake and have great fun together. Our day is filled with joy and gratitude. What is your ritual? Do you give thanks for all the good things and people in your life? We have a tendency to pay attention to what is not working or what is missing from our lives, instead of counting our blessings. There are so many things to be grateful for! We are so blessed to have the opportunity to live in this great country of ours. We enjoy freedom, prosperity and endless opportunities. So many people risk their lives to come to the States.
Where is your attention this Thanksgiving? Are you paying more attention to what is on the table than who sits around the table? Don’t stress yourself around the food. Enjoy your meal with your family; just be mindful of the portions. Make a decision that you won’t deny yourself of all the goodness of the Thanksgiving meal. Do not beat yourself down. Decide you won’t gain weight (if you watch your diet), and celebrate your success.
Workout after dinner or take a nice walk to burn off the calories. On the day after, eat less and then cut back on calories. Substitute lighter versions of the food if possible. Drink only water and plenty of it. Don’t take seconds. Enjoy yourself!!!
Gratitude has multiple effects on our body and mind, as has science proved.
I am grateful for YOU, my reader. Thank you for keeping up with me and for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. My gift to you is: practice gratitude!! If you don’t practice already, start writing a gratitude journal. Your life will change forever. I am telling you this as your friend who traveled down a long path and who fought many challenges along the way (many of them were sad and bitter), but I learned my lesson. One of the tools I used to make a change was practicing gratitude. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!!
Feel free to share your gratitude list on my Facebook page.
Fall is my favorite season, and I like everything about it: the weather, the colors, pumpkins and everything pumpkin related.
Do you take time in your busy life to stop for a few minutes, go outside and absorb the warm and healing rays of the sun? We get so caught up with our everyday activities (family, job, finances) that we forget to observe the moment. We forget to live in the NOW. I am guilty of feeling overwhelmed and trapped in a web of stress. Making a conscious decision to focus on the now makes a huge difference.
I challenge you, while driving to work tomorrow, to observe the nature; notice the beauty that is surrounding you. Do a small gratitude exercise…be grateful that you can see the colors, hear the birds singing, grateful for having a job and car to drive to work (or able to take the bus). Be grateful that you woke up this morning. Tell me how you feel afterward.
How do you eat healthy when the farmer’s markets are closed for the season?
I like to shop at farmer’s markets for multiple reasons:
- The food is fresh and locally grown
- I am supporting local farmers
- I am helping to protect the environment
- I get to Interact with the community
- I like to meet producers of my food, and many more
Even after they close for the season, you will still have opportunities to use the benefits of buying from them. Many farms have stores where you can shop in the fall. Apples will be long in season. Other items that might be available include squash (all different kind of them), dried herbs, locally harvested honey, apple cider, apple butter and many more canned goods, free-range eggs and grass-fed meat. Some farmers started implementing programs where you buy a membership, so you will be able to shop at lower prices. Some of them will include even recipes and offer take-out. Pickles and fermented foods are available all fall and winter, or you can buy a locally grown cabbage and make your own sauerkraut. It is easy and simple and so beneficial for you.
October was breast cancer awareness month. It is easily recognized by the PINK color: ribbons, magnets, ponies, etc. We advocate for women to get regular checkups. We also promote awareness, but I think seldom emphasize enough the importance of weight loss and healthy living to prevent cancer. Obesity and toxicity are risk factors for cancer. Losing weight and being in good shape are important—not only to look good in your skinny jeans—but for good health and longevity.
As we observe the changes in nature, where everything happens with ease and certainty, I wonder why it is so difficult for us to change? We know the saying “NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL YOU CHANGE.”
We expect (hope for) different results, but at the same time we don’t change our behavior. Did you ever wonder what is holding you back? I set so many goals and resolutions, over and over again, without changing my thoughts and behaviors. What I am learning through my coaching classes is I have to let go of the old patterns and the old beliefs that don’t serve me and commit to CHANGE. Then I can expect different results.
BENEFITS OF A PUMPKIN
Did you know how many great benefits pumpkin has? I bet you will look differently at this precious fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit; specifically, it is a berry) after you read this short note. It is beneficial for:
- Promoting weight loss
- Preventing heart diseases
- Maintaining good eyesight
- Combating inflammation, and many others
One cup of mashed pumpkin contains only 49 calories. Pumpkin is rich in fiber, vitamins (A, B, C, and E), antioxidants (Lutein, Xanthin, and Carotenes), poly-phenol flavonoids, and minerals (Copper, Calcium, Potassium, and Phosphorus).
When you need a great snack, try a baked pumpkin. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, and enjoy!!
Another great benefit of pumpkins is in the seeds. Did you know that one-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost 50% of your recommended daily amount of magnesium? It also contains manganese, zinc, protein, copper and phytosterols and plant-based omega-3s. They are great for snacking. You can use them raw, sprouted or oven roasted.
A very easy way to make a fast and simple dessert: cut pumpkin in a few chunks after cleaning it of the webs and seeds. Bake the pumpkin for about one hour on 360° F. When it’s done, sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. ENJOY!!!