Author Archives: Viva la Vida! Live Foods For Life

About Viva la Vida! Live Foods For Life

Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D.--your second chance midwife--, supports women in their menopause years to reclaim their power from received beliefs about aging, recover their physical, mental and spiritual mastery and dive full-on into a vibrantly healthy, productive and fulfilled second half of their lives. She specializes in weight management through life-changing programs that include DIY detoxifications, live foods and powerful transformational techniques. Sirena believes in autonomous and healthy individuals and communities. As a holistic healer, she models for her clients how to courageously step center-stage in their lives by unleashing their unique personal power, creative self-expression and overall well being. Her bilingual programs inspire individuals to reconnect with their bodies, minds and spirits by going back to the basics of a healthy lifestyle: a personalized nutrient-rich diet, energizing physical movement and a meaningful spiritual practice. The seasonal community cleanses and raw food preparation classes that she has been hosting for several years offer a Do It Yourself hands-on approach to healing through nutrient-dense, plant-based choices. She is currently working on a manuscript that captures this experience titled “Detoxing Our Communities: Using Food As Medicine for a Quantum Grassroots Transformation.” She is a compelling public speaker offering wellness seminars in English and Spanish. sirena@vivamivida.com www.vivamivida.com livefoods4life.com https://soundcloud.com/sirena-pellarolo.

YES EQUALS YES!

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Paloma and I getting ready for the New Year's cleanse orientation at Goldensol yoga studio, Los Feliz.

Paloma and I getting ready for the New Year’s cleanse orientation at Goldensol yoga studio, Los Feliz.

Yesterday I offered a one week cleanse orientation at Goldensol, a new yoga studio in Los Feliz. As my daughter Paloma and I were unloading the car in the parking lot, we were welcomed by a mysterious sign that said YES EQUALS YES. Interesting! I kept thinking about this affirmation as I prepared the table with the food and the equipment I would use to prepare the green veggie juices and smoothie recipes I would demo during the workshop. YES EQUALS YES. What a way to affirm a desire!

During the class, this affirmation kept dancing in my consciousness as I witnessed the ganas, the excitement of the participants, who were looking for natural ways to reverse some health conditions as I shared how easy it is to use food as medicine in a simple and effective way. Their enthusiasm pushed me forward and I knew they were doubly affirming their celebration of life as they discovered effective tools to improve their health in the delicious drinks.

YES EQUALS YES when we are ready to make a major shift in our lives, step into our power and arrive at decisions out of the wisdom of our hearts. YES MEANS YES when we let go of negativity to dive full-on into what we know is going to be supportive of our growth and unfoldment. YES EQUALS YES when we take that leap of faith and embark in enterprises that seem scary and hard at the beginning. YES MEANS YES when we affirm life over fear, insecurities, hesitations, no matter what the challenges are, no matter what others say, no matter if it’s going to work or not.

What are YOU saying YES to today?

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Release, Activate and Transform: A Four Week Intensive Health Group Coaching Program

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What:    A four session intensive group coaching program series to learn how to deal with weight gain, cravings, food allergies, digestive issues and low energy.

Why:     To receive personalized professional attention, support, guidance and acommunity of peers during the process.

When:   Tuesdays February 4, 11, 18, 25, 6:00pm to 7:15pm

 Where: From the convenience of your home, call in and join the interactive teleconference.

During the course of this four session program, you will

  • Set and accomplish health goals
  • Reconnect with your body and feelings
  • Develop a personalized diet according to your body type that sustains and pleases you
  • Explore new foods
  • Identify and by-pass emotional areas that trigger emotional eating.
  • Find mastery over food cravings through healthy alternatives and mindful eating
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Feel better in your body, mind and spirit
  • Improve personal relationships with yourself, others and nature
  • Receive the support of an experienced professional and a community of peers

Bonus:  preliminary individual health phone consultation, a closed Facebook group for daily check-ins, recordings of the sessions, hand-outs, individual recommendations, support from a buddy system.

Cost for the 4 sessions:                                         250$    

Payment by February 2:                                       225$

PayPal payment at: http://www.vivamivida.com

For more info: sirena@vivamivida.com

Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D. believes in autonomous and vibrantly healthy individuals and communities. As a holistic healer, she models for her clients how to courageously step center-stage in their lives by unleashing their unique personal power, creative self-expression and overall wellbeing. Her bilingual programs inspire individuals to reconnect with their bodies, minds and spirits by going back to the basics of a healthy lifestyle: a personalized nutrient-rich diet, energizing physical movement and a meaningful spiritual practice. The seasonal community cleanses and raw food preparation classes that she has been hosting for several years offer a Do It Yourself hands-on approach to healing through nutrient-dense, plant-based choices. Sirena specializes in weight management for women in their menopause years. She is currently working on a manuscript that captures this experience titled “Detoxing Our Communities: Using Food As Medicine for a Quantum Grassroots Transformation.”

www.vivamivida.com

http://livefoods4life.com/

https://soundcloud.com/sirena-pellarolo

To receive information on my upcoming programs please sign up here.

A Hearty Quinoa and Vegetable Dish For the Cooler Season

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I know that quinoa–that incredible protein-rich/ gluten-free ancient seed from the Andes–, has become so popular among health observing eaters around the world, that it has increased its status in the global market as a priced commodity. So much so, that the ancestral consumers of the seed have a hard time affording to pay for it in their own country. I am aware of this, and hope that the cultivation of quinoa will become as widespread as its consumption, so that the original peoples from the Andean Altiplano are able to go back to their ancestral diet in a sustainable way. In fact, when I visited the Learning Garden in Venice Beach, CA some weeks ago, I was very happy to see that David King,  its Master Gardener, had some seeds of quinoa that he was planning to plant in the land. Hopefully, they will yield enough food to sustain the garden community.

For now, and aware of this controversy, I would like to share with you the delicious quinoa and veggie recipe I use for these cold nights.

quinoa plate

Ingredients

2 cups of white quinoa (could be other colors) soaked for at least 6 hours

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 white onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup of diced white mushrooms

1 red bell pepper

1 cup diced eggplant (in season)

½ cup chopped cilantro

Dulse flakes

Two tablespoons of miso paste

Braggs aminoacids

A dash of turmeric

1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast

Instructions

As any other seed, grain, bean or nut, I soak quinoa before I cook it. Soaking it in water helps unleash its life force as it neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors that are hard on our digestion. It makes it easier and quicker to cook.

Put the oil in a wok and stir fry the onions, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant. Add water if you need to make some juice and cover until the veggies are almost cooked. Pour the soaked quinoa and mix in with the veggies. Add the dulse flakes, the miso paste and the chopped cilantro, the turmeric, nutritional yeast and sprinkle it with Braggs. You will notice that the soaked quinoa cooks very quickly and, as soon as the water is consumed, turn off the stove and cover the wok. Enjoy with some vegan parmesan. Yummie!

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Deliciously simple vegetable soup recipe/ Simple y deliciosa sopa de vegetales

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Instructions in Spanish below

Simple veggie soup

This simple recipe is based on seasonal plant-based ingredients. The soup is delicious and it satisfies us during the Fall days. As it is made with simple ingredients that do not include fats or processed foods, it is very easy to digest, and perfect for a light supper on a cold day.

-DSC_1018sm1 big white or yellow onion
1 garlic clove
5 fine slices of ginger
1 diced jalapeño
2 carrots
2 diced yams
half a squash
a bunch of parsely
a bunch of spinach
3 celery sticks
1 sliced red bell pepper
a handful of dulse or nori flakes
a big spoonful of miso paste
a teaspoon of cumin
cayenne pepper
turmeric
filtered water

 

Instructions

Fill up a big pot with filtered water and bring it to a boil, as you add the hard root vegetables, that take longer to cook: yams, squash, ginger, carrots. Continue to add the rest of the veggies and the seaweed for seasoning, that give a delicious salty flavor to soups with the added benefit of the sea minerals. Cover until it boils. Add now the miso paste and the spices. Cook for 5 minutes and keep covered. Enjoy!

 

Sopa de vegetales

Esta simple receta está basada en ingredientes de la temporada, privilegiando el origen vegetal. La sopa es deliciosa, y nos satisface durante los primeros fríos del otoño. Ayudan a la digestión, porque los ingredients son simples y no incluye grasas o productos procesados. Nos da energía y felicidad.

Ingredientes

-DSC_1033sm1 cebolla blanca o amarilla grande
1 diente de ajo
5 rodajas finas de jengibre
1 jalapeño picado
2 zanahorias cortadas en rodajas
2 camotes cortados en cuadraditos
Media calabaza cortada en cuadritos
1 atado de perejil
1 atado de espinaca
3 apios
1 chile dulce rojo cortado en rodajas1 puñado de copos de dulse or nori (o sal de mar a gusto)
1 cucharada de miso
1 cucharadita de comino
Pimienta de cayena a gusto
Agua filtrada

 

Preparación:
Llenar una olla grande con agua filtrada y poner a hervir en la estufa. Agregar los vegetales duros, que llevan más tiempo de cocción: los camotes, la calabaza, el jengibre, las zanahorias. Continuar agregando el resto de los vegetales. Agregar el dulce o el nori (o la sal de mar) y cubrir con una tapa hasta que hierva. Cuando hierve, agregar el miso y las especies. Dejar cocinar por unos 5 minutos más y dejar tapado.

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My interview for the San Diego Veg Festival

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At wonderful veg cafe Casa de Luz, with organizers extraordinaires Linda Le and Elza Angulo

At wonderful veg cafe Casa de Luz, with organizers extraordinaires Linda Le and Elza Angulo

Last weekend I was invited to be a guest demo speaker for the second annual San Diego Veg Festival. I was asked to share my experience as a raw food educator and holistic healer, and it was a great opportunity to meet people ready to recover their health by choosing healthier food options. Here’s the interview:

  1. 1.      What do you enjoy most about your career in the veg community?

I enjoy the fact that it’s growing so fast. More and more people are getting into a plant-based diet and becoming much more aware of the issues related to the eating of animal products. In my own area of raw food, I see people experimenting with green juices and smoothies daily, and seeing the incredibly positive effects that these have in their health. I feel there is a change in consciousness in many areas, and food is one of them. People realize that to change the world, we need to change individually—as members of a larger community—and one of the ways is by paying attention to how we fuel our bodies, that is in accordance with a sustainable way of preserving our planet. Moreover, as a food justice activist, I believe in autonomous and vibrantly healthy individuals and communities, and that our bodies are the ultimate site of self-determination. So, in order to become really autonomous, the first thing we need to do is decolonize our bodies from commercial, processed food and other substances that keep us lethargic and lacking in energy.

  1. 2.      What is one thing you wish someone had told you before becoming a vegan/vegetarian?

Fortunately, I started exploring a raw food diet and cleansing in January 2002, when I participated in a program called The 21 Day Detox, led in Los Angeles by two amazing individuals, both naturopaths, Richard D’Andrea, M.D., and John Woods. I learnt so much from them, that I think they prepared me very well to go on my own journey safely. That’s why I have taken it to heart to teach other people how to develop personalized cleanses that are effective and safe. I felt the duty to share my experience with the Chicano/a Latino/a communities with whom I interact daily, as there is a lot of chronic disease and obesity in these communities due to a less than optimal diet resulting from the lack of good fresh produce in the “food deserts” where many of these people reside.

  1. 3.      What caused you to want to become veg friendly?

I was raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the ingestion of meat is overwhelming. When I arrived in this country in 1988 to pursue a doctoral program, luckily, I started eating much less meat because I felt it didn’t taste as good as back home. I also come from a history of emotional eating, so the idea of exploring a raw food diet and periodic detoxing was very appealing to me. It happened right at a time in my life when my spiritual practices were becoming much deeper, and it was natural for me to change my diet to support that process.

  1. 4.      Tell us more about your business? How can we get connected?

After years of hosting seasonal community cleanses and raw food preparation classes, I decided to retire from my position as a college professor and work full-time in the area of health. I became certified as a holistic health coach and have been growing my practice since late 2011. I am using everything I learnt in my own journey to support post-menopausal women to recover their power over their bodies, and debunk disempowering beliefs about aging. As a holistic healer, I model for my clients how to courageously step center-stage in their lives by unleashing their unique personal power, creative self-expression and overall wellbeing. I offer bilingual programs that inspire individuals to reconnect with their bodies, minds and spirits by going back to the basics of a healthy lifestyle: a personalized nutrient-rich diet, energizing physical movement and a meaningful spiritual practice. I specialize in weight management for women in their prime through life-changing programs that include DIY detoxifications, live foods and powerful transformational techniques. I also offer wellness seminars in English and Spanish.

I have a blog that focuses on live foods and detoxifications, http://livefoods4life.com/, and my holistic healing website is www.vivamivida.com.

  1. 5.      What other activities are you involved with in San Diego?

Every six months I spend a week doing a deep detox at the Optimum Health Institute in Lemon Grove, an amazing institution that firmly believes in the power of food as medicine. They follow Anne Wigmore’s principles of using the healing power of live food (sprouting, fermenting, juicing, lots of wheatgrass) to restore health. Every Friday morning, guests have the opportunity to share to the community their testimonials about healing with the power of plants. I have seen time and again hundreds of cases of individuals with “incurable diseases”–as defined by the traditional medical industrial complex–, make a 100% recovery and regain their health and vitality by sticking to this type of diet. Everything that I’ve learnt at OHI I share with the participants of my workshops and cleanses. I am looking forward to continue to collaborate with the San Diego Veg community in spreading this information to the public.

  1. 6.      What tips do you have for those wanting to stay on a veg-friendly path?

I would invite individuals to consider practicing a plant-based diet. I have seen many vegetarians and vegans who eat a lot of processed food, fake meats, etc. I think that the power of being on a veg-friendly path is to get acquainted with the amazing power of plants. That’s the natural fuel that our bodies need. And, if some “slips” happen, to just recommit and continue on the path. There are so many different varieties, flavors, textures, ways of preparing plants, that there is no way that we would feel deprived (not even in the intake of protein!). Also, I would suggest that individuals explore and pay close attention to their ancestral diet. According to the principle of “bio-individuality,” the great diversity of body types demand different types of diets.  Usually, whatever our ancestors ate, our bodies do well with. We can always modify those traditional dishes with choices that are more congruent with the diet that we choose now.

  1. 7.      What are your favorite veg dishes?

I like very simple flavors, and I eat mostly what I prepare at home. I love greens, and I prepare them in juices and smoothies, salads and wraps. I always tell the participants of my food preparation workshops that I am not that interested in gourmet raw food, that my diet mostly responds to the requirements of a “colon boot camp.” I’m interested mainly in food that makes me feel vibrant and healthy and that keeps my body clean. That’s why I am very much into fermentation and sprouting. I always sprout my beans, grains and nuts, and if I happen to prepare a cooked quinoa dish (my favorite grain/seed), I will sprout it for a couple of days first, so that the life force and enzymatic power gets unleashed and becomes more digestible and nutritious.

8. What advice do you have for those that are interested or curious about being a vegetarian/vegan?

I usually suggest to my clients to start slowly, adding veggies and fruits into their diet. The best way to do that is with green juices and smoothies. I have seen time and again that as people start to add these delicious and nutrient rich drinks into their diet, their taste buds get used to the natural flavors, they start to crave veggies and fruits due to the fact that they feel much better eating clean, and slowly, their diet starts transforming completely. This is a wonderful way to jump start a journey towards a plant-based diet. Enjoy the process, and don’t become too dogmatic, just find pleasure in your new choices!

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Are you looking for the Fountain of Youth? Exercise daily!

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So honored to have met amazing 64 year old marathon swimmer Diana Nyad at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, where I swim every week! Her incredible feat of swimming from Cuba to the Florida keys is an accomplishment that proves once again that our bodies--against popular beliefs--are ready to do whatever our minds decide they are capable of doing. Such an inspiration for women my age and beyond!!!

So honored to have met amazing 64 year old marathon swimmer Diana Nyad at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, where I swim every week! Her incredible feat of swimming from Cuba to the Florida keys is an accomplishment that proves once again that our bodies–against popular beliefs–are ready to do whatever our minds decide they are capable of doing. Such an inspiration for women my age and beyond!!!

Lately I’ve been watching closely how women my age and beyond are staying active and some of them, amazingly young-looking and vibrantly healthy and energetic. I saw a picture of Raquel Welch recently, who at 72 looked hotter in a leopard printed dress than Heidi Klum, who wore the same one. I’ve seen pictures of 79 year old Sophia Loren, who looks really stunning and still sexy. And of course, there is exercise guru Jane Fonda, who has been able to keep her body youthful and strong at 76, and recently released some of her secrets on a yoga DVD for women in their “prime time.” It seems that, as women who take care of themselves approach their seventh decade, they are pushing back the expected prime age for women way beyond the 50s.

Fonda confesses that as she was researching for her last book, titled Prime Time, she found in many of her sources that “staying physically active is just about the #1 factor in whether you have a good Third Act or not.” As we age, exercise keeps us healthy; she further asserts, “[a]ctivity strengthens the heart and bones, improves circulation, reduces obesity, thickens the skin and can help with depression because of the endorphins released into the system. Endorphins are brain chemicals that give relief from pain, enhance the immune system, reduce stress and bring us a sense of well-being.”

Another amazing icon mentioned above who has aged divinely is 60’s bombshell Sophia Loren, who, at her prime age of 79, believes firmly in the power of the mind to stay youthful “There IS a Fountain of Youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age,” she affirms.

Exercise may be the closest thing to the Fountain of Youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life. Studies show just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that’s required to reap big benefits.

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors. Research suggests that workouts may do the following:

  1. Keep you young. Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Aerobic exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.
  1. Reduce infections. Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds.
  1. Prevent heart attacks. Not only does exercise raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
  1. Ease asthma. New evidence shows that upper-body and breathing exercises can reduce the need to use an inhaler in mild cases of asthma.
  1. Control blood sugar. Exercise helps maintain a healthy blood-sugar level by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking can significantly cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  1. Protect against cancer. Exercise may reduce the risk of colon-cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level. It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels.
  1. Combat stress. Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.
  1. Relieve hot flashes. Increasing fitness by walking or practicing yoga enhances mood and reduces some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
  1. Protect men’s health. Pelvic exercises help prevent erectile dysfunction and possibly benign prostate enlargement, a common cause of urinary problems.
  1. Prolong life. Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.

So, what are you waiting for? Get off the computer, and go out to play!

But please stay tuned! Coming up a special empowerment workshop for women in their prime Life is not over at 50, ladies! More info coming up soon!

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The insidious power of cravings

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stinking thinking at work

stinking thinking at work

“One of the reasons people consume anything too much is because they don’t consume other things enough.” (Marianne Williamson, A Course In Weight Loss, 74).

When people ask me what they can do about their sugar cravings, I usually suggest that maybe they could look at where in their lives “sweetness” is missing. Some of them nod in recognition of a truth they had been avoiding, others become defensive and sometimes angry. Either way, I know I hit a nerve.

Although sometimes fighting cravings seems an unwinnable battle, these desires are actually not good nor bad. Cravings are instead wonderful indicators that something inside of us is out of balance. As emotional eaters, we have used food to numb out our feelings, so when they suddenly start calling our attention, we become scared and we fall into the automatic response that we have learnt to comfort ourselves in these cases: we go to food. We will invent one thousand excuses and justifications of why it is good to go ahead and use food to calm us down.

Whenever you are having cravings for those “comfort” foods you tend to go to when there’s some emotional stuff happening, take a deep breath and some time to think about what is triggering those cravings. Even if you do indulge in them, don’t miss the opportunity to understand yourself and identify what’s beneath them. Deconstructing cravings is a magical way to develop mastery over them. When you experience a craving, ask yourself, what does my body really want and why?

Some causes of cravings are:

1. Lack of “primary” food, that is to say, nurturance beyond food. For example, relationship issues, an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), boredom, stress, an uninspiring job, or a lack of a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Food can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill a void.

2. Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced. For more tips on this topic, please go to my previous blogs “Our Bodies Many Cries for Water,” and “Please Stay Hydrated.”

3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more expansive qualities (yin) while other foods have more contractive qualities (yang). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang).

4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.

5. Seasons. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like raw fruit and veggies, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets.

6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine and sugar.

7. Hormones. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood-sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

As we become more aware of the underlying emotions below the cravings–stuff repressed for so long–, that crystallized energy starts to melt down and bubble up to be released. Exactly the same as when we detox. Addressing our stored emotions IS a way of detoxing! Thus we de-program ourselves from years of automatic behaviors around emotional eating. That is why staying conscious and paying attention to the indicators that something’s out of kelter is so crucial. Stay aware and enjoy the journey!

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Please stay hydrated!

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Front image_drinking-waterIt’s been HOT! The end of the summer in Los Angeles usually tends to gift us with the high temperatures we missed earlier in the season. I hear people can’t sleep, are irritable, and can’t even do mental work in this heat. This extreme weather takes a toll on our bodies, and we need to be aware of that. The most important thing is to stay cool and hydrated.

I have already talked about the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated in a recent post “Our bodies’ many cries for water.” . In it I mentioned how F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. considers that water is the cure to many of our ailments caused by modern life, as most of us are chronically dehydrated.

Personally, when it’s so hot I scale down my Bikram Yoga practice and swim every day. There is something very cooling and refreshing about soaking in water and splashing in that fluid, all-embracing motherly element. But even then, it’s important to rehydrate after swimming, as the chemicals used to keep the water clean, the sun and the sweating (yes, we sweat when we swim!), dehydrate us. I replenish the lost electrolytes with coconut water. It’s also good to add electrolytes to our drinking water, if we exercise and sweat a lot.

In addition to drinking lots of filtered water, raw fruits and veggies are very hydrating foods. During this warm weather we usually feel less hungry, so go ahead and substitute some meals with delicious veggie juices and smoothies. You can find some easy recipes here and here.

If your diet is composed mainly of processed and mostly cooked foods, you will need more water to hydrate. Also keep in mind that coffee, teas, alcohol, sugary sodas, cigarettes and other irritants are dehydrating and you’ll need to drink more water to counter their effect.

These simple tips will help you stay healthy and at your best even during this torrid season. So, enjoy the end of the summer and stay cool!

 

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Update on my weight loss journey: 6 down and counting

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My daughter Paloma and I flanking super master teacher Marianne Williamson after one of her Monday night lectures at the Saban Theater

My daughter Paloma and I flanking super master teacher Marianne Williamson after one of her Monday night lectures at the Saban Theater

Ever since my last post about my weight loss process “A course in weight loss: a confession and an invitation” where I described my inability to lose weight and fit into the dress I had bought for my daughter’s wedding, I have released 6 pounds and I’m feeling really good about it, as I finally fit into the dress. No sense of deprivation here, just becoming more conscious about what I eat, even within the parameters of an “impeccable,” mostly raw plant-based diet.

The results are really due to a change in consciousness prompted by the exercises I have been doing daily from Marianne Williamson’s book A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Principles for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.

By means of that daily practice I was pushed to really look into myself and those places I was not addressing honestly. And as I did, and cleansed those parts of myself that were resisting change, I started to pay attention to resources that were right in front of my nose. For example, several months ago I had bought Alejandro Junger’s book Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself, (reviewed in a previous post “Are you ‘inflamed’?”), but had not had the time to look at it. It had been patiently waiting on my table for me to open it, and during this time of releasing resistances, it popped right in front my consciousness for me to read it. When I did, I decided to follow meticulously the “elimination diet” it proposes (see my previous post for a list of the most common allergenic and inflammation producing foods), I tweaked other aspects of my diet, and the pounds started to drop. Amazing!

As a health coach, my approach to weight loss or the jump-starting of a healthy way of eating is usually to invite my clients to start “crowding out” the unhealthy choices with nutrient-dense foods, mainly in the form of green veggie juices, smoothies and raw soups. I have found that many of my clients make astounding changes in their health by just adding these delicious drinks to their diets. (For recipes, please go here). As their bodies start receiving their quota of intelligent nutrients, their cellular memory wakes up after a slumber induced by chemicalized, processed food and other addictive substances and the cravings shift towards the fuel meant to make our bodies operate in an optimal fashion. Slowly but surely, cravings for non-supportive choices start melting away, as the body begins to crave natural, whole, clean foods.

I will be sharing this experience and offering personalized recommendations in my next program: A Course in Weight Loss: A Phone Group Coaching Program, a series of 8 phone sessions starting August 21, that will look deeply into the personal roots of excess weight and other body issues by following the principles presented in Marianne Williamson’s book. This phone group coaching program will support participants in developing a healthy relationship with their body that is honoring and respectful of its sacredness. For more information, please go here.

Register by August 15 to receive the savings!

If you’d like to receive information on my upcoming programs, please sign up here.