Delicious Green Juice Recipe
6 celery stalks
1 bunch kale
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 green apple
Chop into large pieces to fit into your juicer. Follow your juicer's recommended settings for each vegetable (higher for the more solid veggies, lower for the citrus and leafy veggies). Juice and serve over ice immediately.
Especially a great breakfast on those mornings you will be attending large gatherings with many food options.
Deep Breathing Practice
Sit comfortably in a quiet spot. Gently close your eyes and let your hands rest, palms up, on your thighs.
Begin to pay attention to your breath. What is the pace of your breathing? How deep is it? Do you inhale or exhale longer? Do your shoulders move when you breathe? Just make notes about your breath in this moment.
Now, place one hand on your belly (just below the navel) and the other on the heart. As you inhale, feel the belly press into your hand, your other hand shouldn't move. The shoulders should remain still and the only other movement you should feel at this moment is as if there is something deep inside pushing against the rib cage in the front, sides and back as you continue to inhale.
As you exhale, begin to pull the navel, sides and back (directly behind the navel) into the center of the body. Allow the breath to leave from the bottom of the lungs first.
Continue this inhale and exhale, adding a slow count of 1-2-3-4 for each inhale and exhale. Do this for at least 5 minutes, but even 1 minute will have an impact on your health.
There are many ways to practice deep breathing, this is only one method.
Why do people gain weight over the holidays? Stress and an over-abundance of high calorie foods. Did you know a few research studies have found that you can honestly gain weight by looking at food when you are stressed? Stress does a lot of unpleasant things to our bodies and our health, and not just physically. Stress causes a fluctuation in hormones that are released from the body. Most people are familiar with cortisol being released during stress and you would be correct if this is what you are thinking. Cortisol, can be beneficial in short bursts, but over extended time periods it will begin to wreak havoc on the brain and endocrine system, leading to forgetfulness, weight gain, fatigue, food cravings, decreased immune system and more. The following seven tips are a great way to maintain stress and energy levels over the holidays and in turn, keep the extra weight off you this year.
1. Drink Green Juice
Whether you juice your own veggies or you buy already juiced veggies, this is one of the best ways to enhance cellular nutrients, boost energy and enhance the immune system. Yes, I said veggies, green veggies to be more exact. Juice, means juice, not purees or smoothies. While these are good options as well, the green juice is a better benefit when discussing quick nutrients into the cells, which will give you more energy and your skin, hair and eyes will glow. Begin with celery, parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, kale, collards, spinach and then add lemon, lime, apple or even pineapple or mango. The maximum ratio of fruit to vegetables should be 1 (fruit) to 2 (vegetables). Think of the fruit more as a flavor enhancer and use sparingly. Fruit is good for you, but it is also higher in sugar, so keep the amount small.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods not only keep your digestive system on track, they help combat cortisol, enhance mood, boost immunity and even keep the stomach flatter. The type of fermented foods you choose is up to you. I recommend getting the most diversity as possible, which means eating a diversity of foods. Kefir, bulgarian yogurt, kombucha and any fermented vegetables and fruit are great to add to your daily lifestyle. Choose low sugar, organic, and those that list the most microbes for your best options. Begin with small amounts if you are new to fermetned foods, 4 ounces of kefir or 2 tablespoons of fermented vegetables and increase your intake as you adjust to them.
3. Take Slow, Deep Breaths
Have you ever taken a moment to stop and check in with how you are breathing? When we are in stressful situations or stressful emotions we tend to hold our breath or have very shallow and rapid breathing from the top of the lungs. We do this type of breathing when we are in pain, too. Our body heals most efficiently when we can be in a relaxed state and deep breathing is part of that state, as well as a great way to get there when we find ourself in stress mode. What else do we tend to do when stressed or emotional? We tend to eat and over eat. Breathing practices can help you overcome the unconscious emotional or stress eating practices. Try the practice highlighted in blue to build your deep breathing awareness and muscle.
4. Move Your Body
This doesn't need to be difficult. It can be going for a walk around your block. If you go for that walk, do it without headphones or cellphones. Be in the moment, feel your body as it begins to release tightness and become more free in its natural movements. Yoga is another great option because it aids in toning the muscles, stretching tissues of the body, enhancing digestion and hormones as well as many other benefits. Whatever you prefer to do, just go do something to get your body moving. It will reduce pain, arthritis, and cortisol; while improving posture, self-esteem and mental acuity.
5. Get Creative
The act of being creative gets us into another area of our brains. It allows us healthy ways to decrease stress and think outside the box. Studies have shown that being creative aids in having a positive outlook. This can lead to acceptance of who you are and decrease boredom which can lead to weight gain. When you are being creative you tend to participate in life with curiosity and joy. So, pick up a paint brush, camera or guitar, make new creations in the kitchen or learn a new hobby. Allow yourself time to create just for the sake of creation!
6. Drink Water
You've heard this one, over and over again. Are you doing it? Are you drinking water? Drinking water regularly, throughout the day will keep you hydrated. This will lead to more energy, less inflammation and better mental clarity. Being dehydrated can lead to choosing sugary drinks for a pick me up or to curb a craving. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day and you are on the right path.
7. Give Thanks
Practicing gratitude helps us to be more aware, to be present in the moment. This will help you to become aware of what you are really feeling in that moment you reach for another box of chocolate covered cherries or decide to watch a marathon of Newsroom instead of going for that walk. Practicing gratitude will also create a better sense of who your are and that gratitude will be felt for yourself, as well. It's challenging to do unhealthy behaviors when you are practicing gratitude for yourself. Give yourself a hug, tell someone thank you when they open the door for you and open the door for someone else in return.
Dr. April Morford - Vibrant Living Begins With YOU!
Dr. April Morford
2019 - Present