Category: Wellness

Book Review: Goddesses Never Age

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A book with a title like that, written by one of my favorite women’s health mavericks? I’m in! And what a ride! As always, Dr. Christiane Northrup, above all else, speaks from her heart about the power we women have to create the vibrant health that we deserve. Instead of dreading the journey, Dr. Northrup commands us to toss aside the self-defeating messages we receive about aging, menopause, and our value as women as we grow older. Her point is very clear: more than any vitamin or pill, it is our thoughts and our beliefs that dictate our health and vitality. We are all growing older but you don’t have to succumb to negative belief systems that pave the way for memory loss, chronic diseases, and depression.

GoddessesNeverAgeWe have the power of choice. The foods we eat, the people we bring into our circle, the ways we want to move our bodies, and how we express our sexuality. All of these facets play an important role and have a huge impact on our health. Dr. Northrup is a big believer in tapping into our Divine/Creative Source. She shares a great mantra to help us with our heart health:

“Divine Love now manifests in my heart. And now fuels my life.”

I’m doing it everyday — when I wake up and before I go to sleep. It feels good to bookend my day like this!

Mixing her passion for addressing the emotional, mental, and spiritual root causes of so many our physical ailments with the latest research on health and aging, Dr. Northrup creates a rich roadmap. Yes, we are all getting older, but we have the power within all of us to decide how to make this journey. I say let’s go for radiant health and self-empowerment!

Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being

Walking Staves Off Dementia

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Instead of being hardwired and rigid, scientists have concluded that our brains are actually fluid — constantly changing based on our individual activities and experiences.  This concept of neuro-plasticity is profound. In addition to having the ability to change the expression of our genes by making lifestyle changes, we also get to determine the health and vitality of our brains. That’s big stuff.

Last week, while listening to Terry Gross interview Dr. David Linden on her NPR show, Fresh Air, I was particularly interested in the last question she asked him:

TG: …as a professor of neuroscience, do you do certain things to take care of your brain to either strengthen it or to protect it?

DL: What I do to strengthen and protect my brain is physical exercise. The single best thing you can do for your cognitive function, particularly when you’re in middle age like me, is to get out of your chair and move your body around. It is a much, much bigger effect than any of these brain-training games or puzzles or things that people want to sell you.

TG: Why is that true?

DL: Well, it turns out that these puzzles only produce a very small improvement and that the improvement does not generalize very much behind the task of the puzzle itself. It turns out that when you exercise, you are dilating the blood vessels in your brain, you are changing the metabolic capacity of your brain. You’re causing your brain to secrete chemicals called trophic factors that appear to keep neurons healthy and changeable. And we don’t entirely understand the molecular basis of the beneficial aspects of exercise, but the aspects are enormous. It reduces anxiety; it prevents depression; it improves cognitive function. If there is a single thing to do for your brain health, it is to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.

Now, while I do like the memory games at Lumosity, I love aerobic exercise even more. And, as I’m not a runner, aerobic exercise — to me — always means walking.

The topic of brain health was featured yet again last week in the Wall Street Journal in an article that announced walking as the biggest game changer in the fight against dementia. Is it me, or are you sensing a welcome trend here as well?

So instead of wondering what things you should be doing to stave off cognitive decline, start putting one foot in front of the other. Now, you might also want to eat more greens, take that Bikini Boot Camp trip, or even start playing Sudoku. But, remember, you can think about all of these lifestyle tune-ups while … walking.

Vitamin C Immunity Booster

StrawberryOrangeGinger

Instead of just “getting through” the winter, why not thrive? Here’s a great recipe from Kris Carr to help you do just that.

Ingredients

6 carrots

2 small navel oranges, peeled and quartered

1 small lemon, peeled

Dash cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Prep and wash all produce.

2. Juice all ingredients, except cayenne pepper.

3. Add a dash of cayenne pepper to juice and mix well.

4. Serve.

SOURCE: Kris Carr

 

2015 Retreats & Escapes

 

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We’re all so busy aren’t we? We blink and, incredibly, it’s already the end of January. Like many of you, I’m asking myself, “What would I like the highlights of this year to be?” Could a fantastic solo retreat figure into one of those highlights? I’m giddy just thinking about the possibility … and the incredible range of options!

There is truly something for everyone. Are you … vegan and looking to deepen your meditation practice? There’s a retreat. Yoga diva who also likes to hike? Too many retreats to name. Pleasure seeker who wants to eat clean, move her body, look inward, and perhaps do a little shopping? Yep. You’re covered too. But, where to begin your search? The following two resources are a great way to start: Spirituality & Health’s Retreat Guide, and Escape To Shape‘s fabulous selections of week or weekend-long retreats.

Spirituality & Health‘s guide is packed with everything from silent retreats, Qigong healing, energy medicine, mindfulness, and every shade of yoga. The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, is on the list and features amazing weeklong programs nearly every week of the year.

The wonderful team at Escape to Shape takes small groups on journeys to exotic locations like Morocco, Sicily, Ecuador, and Croatia. These escapes combine luxury accommodations, daily yoga, hikes, history and folklore, and delicious healthy local cuisine. Luxury meets culture meets wellness, with a fabulous team to lead and inspire you. Check out their special Destination Detox programs in beautiful Hudson Valley, New York and Todos Santo, Mexico.

Could this be your year?

Spirituality & Health

Escape to Shape

Boost Your Immunity With This Pose

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Take a moment to think about how you manage your energy. How do you give yourself a boost and how do you release excess energy that’s causing stress? Typically, we’re worried about time-management; however, many are starting to realize that if we don’t manage ourselves, all our efforts and overdrive will result in burn-out. When we manage our body’s energy we’re able to boost our immunity, emotional resilience, stamina, and overall feeling of wellness.

Here is a great exercise* fromwonderful book, Energy Medicine.

This is a powerful exercise that releases excess energy while bringing fresh oxygen to the cells. It stimulates fresh energy to flow through the joints, and gives an instant lift when you start to feel sluggish or feel a cold coming on.

ConnectingHeavenEarth2Directions:

1. Stand up. Rub hands together then shake them to loosen them up.

2. Place your hands on the front of your thighs with your fingers spread.

3. With a deep inhalation, circle your arms out to your sides.

4. On the exhalation, bring your hands together in front of your chest in a prayer position.

5. Again with a deep inhalation, separate your arms from each other, stretching one high above your head and flattening your hand back, as if pushing something above you. Stretch the other arm down, again flattening your hand as if pushing something toward the earth. Tilt your head back and look up. Stay in this position for as long as is comfortable. (Start by counting to 10.)

6. Release your breath through your mouth, returning your hands to the prayer position in front of your heart.

7. Repeat, switching arm positions. After this first set, do two more.

8. Coming out of this pose the final time, drop your arms and allow your body to fold over at the waist. Hang there with your knees slightly bent as you take two deep breaths. Slowly return to a standing position with a backward roll of the shoulders.

*Yes! You might feel a little funny doing this pose, but go with it and see how you feel afterwards!

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