Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY : HOMEOPATHY

I've started seeing homeopathic doctor since last summer. She came highly recommended through referrals and I've been so happy with her. She has similar holistic view on medicine and health as I do and I always leave my appointments inspired, energized and with wealth of information. Homeopathy is a safe, non-toxic system of medicine that has proven to be effective in treating both new and old diseases, including many thought to be untreatable. Homeopathy seeks to treat the whole person when conventional medicine focuses on treating the disease. It is the whole person who is affected by disease, and it is the whole person who responds to medicines. 
Homeopathic medicine is called remedy. Selection of a proper remedy is based on a homeopathic principle that is similar to the concept of vaccination, in which a substance that can cause certain symptoms if taken by a healthy person, can cure a person who is ill. Like will cure like. This is called the Law of Similars.

During our first appointment we discussed about any health concerns I had and how I wish I would feel. I don't have any major issues so I am keeping a record of few small issues (for example fogginess of the mind, low energy in the evening etc). I check in weekly with each issue and write down in a chart has the issue improved, stayed the same or worsened (I grade it from 1-10). This way we'll know if the remedy is working. For example after I ate the first remedy, 90% of my issues disappeared within a week. I went back after about 5 weeks, got a smaller dosage since the first one had worked so well, and did not notice any difference. 

It's totally normal that after seeing symptoms improve for a time, they will eventually start to return. This is called a relapse. Next time there will be some changes to the homeopathic treatment and symptoms will start to improve again. Usually, they will get even better than they were before the relapse. The healing process will follow this same pattern over and over again, but the relapses will become less and less intense and further and further apart until they stop occurring entirely.

Homeopathy is a powerful addition to a complementary wellness lifestyle, and can work with other modalities to support a holistic approach. It can dissolve long-term and even forgotten stress and trauma that have been stuck in your system for a long time. People who use homeopathy often start making healthier choices in other areas of their lives because their overall vitality is improved and their thinking is clearer.

Download excellent FREE ebook Beyond Flat Earth here to get to know more about homeopathy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

BANANA-ALMOND BUTTER SMOOTHIE

Banana-Almond Butter Smoothie

1 ripe banana (use frozen one so you won't need any ice)
1 tbsp almond butter (use raw if available)
1-2 cups of almond milk (depending how thick you like it) 
1-2 cups of coconut water
1 tbsp flax seeds (or hemp hearts)
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 tbsp cinnamon
(1 tsp maca powder, optional)

Throw everything in the blender until smooth and drink up! Cheers!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LIFE LATELY

Hello friends! Quietness on the blog has been due to feeling a bit uninspired, mainly because of the change of seasons. It is cold, and when it gets cold, I tend to hibernate. I must've been a bear in my past life. On my days off I've forced myself to get out of the house and go for even a short walk around the block. That energizes me and gets me back on the business mode. I just had a session with my homeopathic practitioner and we did supplement session to make sure what I was taking was good for my body. I do not use lots of supplements and beauty/personal care products, but I was so happy to notice that only one of them was not good for my body (deodorant with aluminum). Couple of things were indifferent (waste of money) and 90% of the products I have selected to use were actually good for me. That, according to my doctor, is a sign of a good intuition. 

I also just started studying to become certified in Plant-Based Nutrition at eCornell. I'm very interested in nutrition and hopefully this course will help to fill the gaps in my knowledge left by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. At the same time I'm researching on yoga teacher trainings which is something I'd love to do this coming spring. Just not sure yet what our living situation will be then (everything is up in the air about where we should move), so cannot quite decide on the studio yet. I'd also like to take some kind of course on raw foods since I believe they are essential for great health, and so far been in touch with Matthew Kenney Culinary school in Los Angeles. 

So this is what's up. Have a great rest of the week! XO

Sunday, November 9, 2014

SIMPLE SPICED GRANOLA

 As long as I can remember I've had three things for breakfast: green smoothie, oatmeal or chia pudding. So there was definitely room for something new. Therefore I decided to make my own granola. I'm quite picky when it comes to granola and store-bought ones always have something in them I don't care about, like my arch-enemy: raisins. I really do not like raisins. I pick them out. I like my raisins before the life was sucked out of them, as grapes. This was my first time making granola and it came out amazing. Better than any granola I've EVER tasted.
SIMPLE SPICED GRANOLA

Ingredients 

3 cups grains (old fashioned, rolled oats are good. Do not use instant oats. You can also use about 1/2 cup of sprouted quinoa like I did)
1-1,5 cups nuts (I used almond, walnuts, cashews. Try pecan too.) 
1-2 cups seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup, but you can also use brown rice syrup, agave or honey) 
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup 
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
3/4 teaspoon salt 
1-2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamon

Optional:
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut 
1 cup raisins or other fruit

Directions 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the fruit. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until very lightly toasted. Add raisins or other fruit if you're using them and mix until evenly distributed. 

Keeps in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I store mine in a mason jar in the fridge.

P.S. To make this even healthier, sprout it! Simply soak the nuts and seeds in water for 8 hours and then set them out for a day on a paper towel before baking.
Granola with pomegranate seeds and coconut milk yogurt


Saturday, November 8, 2014

5 FAVORITES

 One of the supplements that I've been really good at taking daily for years is B-12. I thought that since one of its main purposes is to protect the nervous system (short term memory, mood, etc.) it would be quite important one. Also, if your energy levels are low, B-12 deficiency might be to blame. Why spray though? When you swallow a pill, it must go through your entire gastrointestinal tract: the stomach (with acid and bile), the intestines (where most absorption takes place) and then off to the liver, for some more filtering. And THEN it's delivered to where it's needed. Quite a long way. Going under the tongue bypasses this entire route, and delivers the medication right to the bloodstream. Therefore absorbability is improved greatly.
 I haven't really given any attention to my hair in years (my last professional hair cut was... maybe 8 years ago? Last color treatment 5 years ago?). So I'm at least trying to feed it with right things, internally and externally. I love Dr. Hauschka calling their products "Holistic Hair Care". I use the Neem Hair Oil as a mask before washing my hair and Neem Hair Lotion after washing. 
 The season of cold wind is here and this one oil has taken care of my skin for the past year and is all I need. The small bottle of Argan Magic lasts forever because all I need is is couple of drops.
 Still my main cooking oil and body moisturizer. I recently went to an Ayurvedic workshop and the instructor confirmed my body type to be mainly Vata which explains my cravings for warmth (warm foods, warm clothes, warm beverages). She also reminded me that coconut oil is extremely cooling substance and possibly not the best choice for me due to this fact. She recommended trying sesame seed oil to add to foods and use as a body moisturizer and see if it makes me feel warmer. Test your body type here and get more info on Ayurveda.
I started writing a few lines every single day to this 5 year journal since January 1, 2014 and it has become my way of winding down while sitting in bed getting ready to sleep. It's a fun way to make inventory of my day, let go and a way to keep track on how I evolve in life and how my life evolves around me. I just read few updates from the beginning of this year and was surprised of all that happened then. I love keeping record of things through journaling and photos. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY RECIPE ROUNDUP : FALL EDITION

Hello November! Hello darkness! Hello cold! This time of the year is a bit challenging for my recipe blogging career. The sun has gone down by the time I get the dinner ready and I haven't been able to get any good food photos. But not to worry! This Meatless Monday I decided to feature other people's creations! So please, check them out and show some love!

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup (from Oh She Glows)

Grape Focaccia (from La Petite Gourmess)

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Sage Gnocchi (from Healthy Crush)

Glazed Chilli and Beetroot Brownies (from Deliciously Ella)

Grapefruit Hot Toddy (from Thug Kitchen)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 WAYS TO ENJOY THE CHANGE OF SEASON


 Fall is officially here, meaning it's time to trade in flip flops for warm boots and iced teas for Pumpkin Spice Lattes (but please, not from Starbucks!!! Try this recipe). Instead of triggering a case of the October blues, try making few positive changes in your life to boost happiness. Keep spending time outdoors (just dress properly!)and with your friends, take extra days off from work (if possible), attend interesting classes, learn something new (how about that Indian cooking class?) and commit to a regular workout routine (even if it's just one yoga class a week or a 15 min walk a day). You don't have to lose your summer glow as the seasons shift. Try these tips and share yours in the comments: 
1. Plan a few mini-vacations

Make time for at least one or two short, affordable weekend trips during the fall, like driving to a nearby city or the countryside for the weekend. It does wonders for your health, well-being, and productivity. Personally I love the quietness of the countryside and we often find ourselves in the peace of small towns of Pennsylvania. The mere anticipation of a vacation can boost happiness for up to eight weeks before you leave! Do you notice how your energy is different when you have something to look forward to. I sure do!
2. Get outside

Yes, it's not that warm anymore, but you can still enjoy the benefits of nature throughout the fall season. The crisp, cool autumn air can make for a refreshing walk as long as you're appropriately dressed for the weather. Make time to enjoy an early-morning stroll, even if it's just 10 minutes. Walking through green spaces has been shown to reduce stress and put the brain into a state of meditation. Try doing deep-breathing exercises while walking and notice the benefits.
3. Prioritize friends-and-family time 

When the weather is nice and everyone is out and about, we tend to naturally gravitate towards spending more time with our friends and family. Once the temps drop, it's easy to stay hibernating indoors. Unfortunately that's exactly what I tend to do. But no matter the season, making as much time as possible for your tribe will benefit not only your mood, but your health. Strong social ties have been associated with lower stress levels, increased longevity and improved mental health. If you feel lonely, just create your own circle of sisters! There's nothing stopping you.

4. Enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables 

 Find few good recipes and cook a meal using nutrient-rich autumn produce such as butternut and kabocha squash, grapes, brussels sprouts, apples, pears, beets, fennel, sweet potatoes or pumpkin. Get creative and add your own personal touch. For example I almost always add cinnamon to anything I'm roasting in the oven. It's my favorite and makes the house smell like heaven. Cooking can be a great de-stressor if you don't rush it and make it a chore. Put on some music and enjoy the process. It's a sensory experience with aroma, taste, touch and visual delight.

 5. Unplug and recharge

This has been a real issue for me and so far the most helpful thing I've done is scheduling my internet time. I put reminders on my phone's calendar that tell me what my tasks are throughout the morning. For example from 9am-10am: write a blog post about homeopathy. 10am-10.15am: make breakfast and eat. 10.15am-11.15am: write a blog post about Halloween events in NYC for hotel blog. 11.15am-11.45am: schedule Facebook posts for the next week, and so on. Too much screen time has been linked with stress and depression. Have you also noticed when you go on a vacation somewhere without WIFI how great you feel not checking your email and social media notifications every hour? Unplugging from work and social media on the weekends can be helpful for supporting well-being and boosting productivity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

JUIL GROUNDING BOOTS

 It's been hard to let go of the summer and prepare for the fall. Summer is my favorite time of the year, spring coming as a close second. To get ready, I've replenished my supplement (Zinc, Turmeric, D3, Chaga), candle and tea storage (lots of ginger, yerba mate & rooibos), packed away all the colorful summer dresses and sandals and dug out out the heavy scarves and boots from the storage boxes. This is also the time of the year when I like to pamper myself in order to balance the discomfort cold weather brings me. I have scheduled massages, short road trips, hiking, more cooking classes and gentle, slow flowing yoga classes at a new yoga studio in our town. And my latest feel-good (and look-good) obsession: Earthing (thanks to Juil!).
Unfortunately we don’t get a chance to spend enough time in nature nowadays. Don't you just love the feeling walking barefoot on the beach? Feet are our foundation because they keep us connected to the earth. The surface of the earth is like a giant battery. It carries a strong negative charge with a limitless supply of electrons. By connecting with the Earth’s surface, your body is able to absorb the negatively charged, free electrons that are continually renewed within the earth. When grounding or earthing, the harmful and unhealthy free radicals in your body are stabilized and a natural, balanced electrical state is established.  
Juil offers Earthing in their shoes by placing copper conductors through the soles of the shoes. Because copper is a conductive metal, you’re able to go about your day and experience the relief of Earthing on the go. My Lelo boots are super light and equipped with memory foam footbed. Hands down the most comfortable boot I've ever worn. So together with my yoga and meditation practice, these shoes play a role in keeping me calm, grounded and balanced in this life of constant ups and downs. Check out all the beautiful styles of Juil shoes here!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BRUNCH PERFECT: BLOODY MARY SMOOTHIE

It is now almost a "tradition" that we have Bloody Mary's when we carve our pumpkins (because we did it once before here). This time I wanted a Bloody Mary that actually tasted good so I made it from scratch using my favorite kind of tomatoes: heirlooms. The plan was to juice them, but I got too lazy to dig my juicer from the back of the cabinet and decided to use Vitamix instead, making it a smoothie instead of a juice. It didn't end up being thick at all like I first though, but very juice like. I didn't use any other liquids than lemon juice, very little vodka, some acai juice and the natural juice from the tomatoes I blended. I had no recipe and was missing Worcestershire Sauce (replaced it with organic tamari)so just go with your hunch on how much you need and try it often until desired taste has been acquired. That's what I did and the end result was deeeelicious.

Bloody Mary Smoothie
serves 2

3-4 large tomatoes
1/2 small horseradish pickle
3 tbsp tamari sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
dash of salt
2 dashes of cilantro
3 dashes of cayenne
vodka (to taste)
1/2 cup acai juice

Throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a glass of ice. Decorate with cilantro or dill sprig, celery stick, pickle spear or olives.

P.S. One medium whole tomato provides 40% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 20% of the RDA of vitamin A, 2% of the RDA of iron, and 1% of the RDA of calcium. Lycopene is the natural substance (part of the carotenoid group) responsible for the deep red color in many foods, including tomatoes. It provides cancer fighting agent and a powerful antioxidant. Bottoms up!

Friday, October 17, 2014

PUMPKIN POWERHOUSE

 Cheerfully orange pumpkins are packed with carotenoids and are a good source of vitamins A, C, E and the B vitamins and fiber. They're rich in minerals as well (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, sodium, zinc). So go ahead, carve your pumpkins, but also make sure to eat some! Did you know that you can juice them? Raw pumpkin juice is a great way to consume it. Pulp you can use for baking bread or pumpkin brownies. Pumpkin is super good for you! For example:

-Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that are very useful against the arthritis and joint inflammation. 

-Pumpkin has high amounts of phytosterols that is similar to our human cholesterol. It can normalize the cholesterol to a healthy level. 

-One of the cause of depression is the lack of trytophan in our diet. Pumpkin is rich with L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our body cannot manufacture. When this chemical compound is supplied, it activates the feeling of happiness and well-being, reducing the depressed mood. 

- Aids in gastrointestinal disorders (indigestion, constipation etc.) due to its high dietary fiber content and also lowers LDL, "bad" cholesterol and regulates blood sugar level

-Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are some of the finest nourishment that help keep the optic system in good health.

-Does wonders for boosting the immune system by increasing the production and performance of white blood cells; building resistance to various kinds of infections. 

-Pumpkin seeds are also great for kidneys. By taking about 5 – 10 grams of pumpkin seeds daily prevents stones formation in the kidneys. 

-The high quantity of anti-oxidants (vitamins A, C, E, and zinc)are great for the skin

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MY FIRST HEALTHY COOKING CLUB WITH ROBYN YOUKILIS

Last week I ventured out to my favorite part of Manhattan, the East Village. I was not there for bar hopping, as some of you might have thought, but to attend a cooking class. Yes! My interests have totally changed at my old age :)! I haven't done cooking classes since vocational school and been desperately searching for inspiration to start creating more goodness in the kitchen (and not those same five dishes that have been done over and over again). I've watched cooking shows, bought tons of colorful cooking books, followed vegan cooking blogs, but nothing has gotten me as inspired as in-person cooking class. I've found the answer! 
I found Robyn online and been following her on Instagram for a while now. She seemed like a sweet person so I thought it would be really cool meet her and learn from her in person. Robyn's Cooking Club is held at a very homey environment: her home! I was the first one to arrive (the ever so punctual Finn) and was offered a glass of wine/water while waiting for the rest of the gang. After getting to know everyone we started preparing for the meal. This included kabocha squash (completely new veggie for me to try) and garlicky kale tacos, kale salad as well as gluten-free chocolate muffins with cinnamon coconut cream topping. Yum!
Robyn is funny and has a laid-back, no-fuss attitude on cooking. Things fall on the floor and spill around, but hey, that's what happens in everyone's kitchen. That kind of took the pressure off trying to be perfect. Because perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence :). I loved the evening with Robyn and the girls and will definitely be at the next one! Thank you Robyn for inviting me to your beautiful home and creating this experience. XO