I have been doing a lot of exploration into health and wellness in the last year. My journey began with a strange episode at Thanksgiving 2014 where I lost consciousness one morning at the breakfast table at my cottage. Around the same time I was suffering from a painful calcium deposit on my shoulder and was trying multiple methods to treat it naturally. Along my journey I tried physiotherapy, made changes to my diet, did osteopathy, massage, fitness training and finally settled on yoga and meditation.
The fainting spell turned out to be anemia. I researched many ways to add iron to my diet naturally. I also learned that red wine can deplete iron in the body. I decided to quit drinking alcohol completely because not only was it not serving me, but it was costly on my pocket book and my emotional well being.
Here are a few tips I discovered:
1. Drink lots of filtered WATER. Avoid plastic bottles. I use a glass bottle when travelling. We have an under-the-counter faucet that I love from Jonli. http://www.jonli.com/
2. To BALANCE acidity in the body: Drink 1 Tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water first thing in the morning.
3. Enjoy a GREEN drink before breakfast: Combine 1/2 cup coconut water and 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon spirulina, 1 teaspoon chlorophyll, 1 teaspoon wheat grass powder or frozen (optional) 10 frozen cranberries in a Ninja Bullet (my favourite compact and convenient blender). Recently I have added 1 organic fig and 10 raisins (soaked together overnight). According to the Eye Yoga regime (see my upcoming post for details) they contribute towards eye health.
4. I start my day with Eye Yoga exercises. I then venture into the sacred space I created in my studio for YOGA. I always do a series of sun salutations and more poses if time permits.
5. I do a series of Bowen Technique SHOULDER EXERCISES to alleviate the pain and hopefully dissolve the calcium deposit. These are great for any neck/shoulder issues. Especially if one uses the computer a lot.
6. I love SPROUTED bread toasted with almond butter for breakfast. I love the Ezekiel brand, available at health stores and Metro and Provigo grocery stores. Keep it in the freezer.
7. I am not an exercise fanatic, but am a big fan of WALKING. I try to have one “no car” day a week and try to take at least one walk per day.
8. I take some SUPPLEMENTS, especially vitamin D. I sometimes take Omega, kelp, and vitamin C, but try to get as much as I can from real food!
9. One way to get MAGNESIUM is to soak your feet for 10 minutes in warm water with 1/2 cup Epsom salts.
10. I always eat a power SALAD for lunch. I simply peel or wash a variety of veggies and grate them in the food processor for ease and speed! Veggies include: organic red and green cabbage, carrots, beets, celery, zucchini, parsnips, turnip, etc. I top it with fresh sprouted beans or seeds and homemade dressing.
11. In the winter I sometimes opt for SOUP for lunch. I simply warm 2 cups water with 1 Tablespoon miso and a bit of Braggs soy seasoning (my favourite) and sometimes a bit of red or green curry paste. I throw in the same veggies as I would for the salad and just heat slightly so as not to kill the vitamins!
12. I put BRAGGS soy seasoning on everything! It is a healthy alternative to soy sauce or salt.
13. I make unsweetened POWER COOKIES and keep them in my freezer. When I need a snack I pull one out and warm it up in the toaster. Quick and easy!
14. I cut out a lot of dairy, but I do eat unsweetened organic YOGURT in the evening to get my calcium. I usually mash in 1/2 banana and top with homemade granola!15. I am weary of the ingredients in commercial almond milk so I always make my own. I make small quantities in the Ninja bullet since it only lasts a few days in the fridge.
16. I enjoy COCONUT MILK in my morning coffee and afternoon tea. For a treat I beat a can of chilled coconut milk (remove the excess water) with 1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup and keep it in the fridge. Can also be used as a whipped topping.
17. I joined OM West YOGA Studio and it has changed my life. I am investing in an annual membership for unlimited yoga for 2016. Yoga at home is great, but there is nothing like fully immersing yourself in a class away from the distractions at home. There is a beauty in surrendering yourself to the guidance and expertise of a trained and experience teacher. The studio is oozing with positive energy and one leaves with an incredible sense of peace and love.
18. I discovered MEDITATION in the last 6 months. I am taking an introduction to meditation class and learning many different types including sound, colour, chakras, etc. I also followed the Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation experience and try to incorporate meditation in some way each day. Check out the many resources and tools on the internet including guided meditations.
19. I am studying A COURSE IN MIRACLES with a few friends. We have our weekly “book club” where we actually read and discuss the book. It is a sacred time and I have enjoyed exploring the concepts of unconditional love, forgiveness and relinquishing fears and limiting beliefs!
20. I say YES to opportunities for TRAVEL, LEARNING, ENTERTAINMENT and DISCOVERY. Montreal is a rich city with so many cultural events happening. I realize that external stimuli and personal growth is hugely important to one’s level of HAPPINESS and well-being!