Now is the time…

I was recently asked to write an article for a family magazine entitled “Our Sustainable Life.” At first I was stumped.  I thought about this for quite some time and realized that as mothers, we too often get through our days by just barely sustaining life.
With this article, I seek to impart tools to help the citizen of the universe, earth conscious, independent mother not just to sustain… but thrive.
How do we step into this precious time of motherhood in a way that is full and present?  How do we fully embody our motherhood so we may not ever look back and say “If only I had enjoyed it more…”  Please allow this article to serve as a reminder of what you already know; that this life is so precious, our little ones are only little once and now is the time.
Having said all that, what is the practical solution?  When work is crazy, the house is a mess, life is spinning out of control and our partner and children are needing more and more of our time and energy everyday?  When is there time to stop and smell the roses when its Mom who has to shop for the seeds, plant, water and trim the roses!?!?  The answer lies in creating space for ourselves.  Cultivating mindful practices in our daily lives when we can catch our breath, smile, put it all in perspective and remind ourselves what its all for.
In my work as a holistic health coach I use food as an entry point to look at and treat the whole body and spirit. I notice over and over again that as women, we pour out energy until we are depleted and often use food to support ourselves emotionally when we are exhausted.
A study published in the April 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the relationship between burnout and emotional eating, specifically eating when feeling bad or “uncontrolled eating,” in other words, eating and feeling unable to stop.  As new moms, we are always burnt out and exhausted and more often than not, we use food to try to fill that exhaustion.
When we are working so hard to “keep it all together” it can be overwhelming. Geneen Roth wrote women who overeat often feel “I’m afraid to feel what I’m feeling, so I’ll tamp myself down and eat.” The problem, she said, is that “most of us don’t know how to feel our feelings. We’re afraid of them. Usually we think we’re going to fall apart if we allow ourselves to feel.” So as a result, we eat mindlessly. We eat while we work, clean, take care of the kids. We distract ourselves with chatter, tv, gossip, computer or whatever else.

When attention is split, Roth writes, “You miss the fullness signals, so you overeat. You miss the pleasure signals. You don’t taste the food because your attention is somewhere else. It’s lose-lose all around.”

This month, I challenge you to quiet the distractions. Eat your meals sitting down, enjoy your food, chew your food and work towards only eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Bring your awareness to the moment you feel full and honor that by putting the fork down.

Most importantly, we must allow ourselves to feel, even fall apart if that’s what we need.  Once we are no longer “afraid to feel” we begin to realize that we are capable of simultaneously being exhausted and still be an amazing woman, partner and mom!

Remember that sometimes, the best thing we can do is to “fill our own pot.” If we could find a way to spend 5 minutes a day honoring our own mental health perhaps we would have self sustained energy that is not dampened by food or emotion.

What is one specific way you can bring more mindfulness to your eating? What could you do for 5 minutes a day to help you connect with your own emotions? How can you remind yourself to do these things everyday?

3 Steps to Awaken a Better Day!

In yogic practices you may hear of people practicing a “Sadhana” or morning ritual. What is this all about?  A direct translation of Sadhana is “a means of accomplishing something” or “a discipline undertaken with pursuit of a goal.” When I stop and think about it, I can’t think of a better way to start my day!  Imagine what we could all do when we begin every single day with a discipline in pursuit of a goal?!?! There are ancient texts that outline specific practices to be done under the guidance of teachers but there are also tons of things we can all begin doing tomorrow morning that can really change our days, weeks and really our whole life!  Don’t you agree that you could gain clarity and get a lot more done if you took a few moments every morning for yourself?

So here are my…

 

3 Steps to Awaken A Better Day!

1) Before rising out of bed take a moment and think of a few things you are grateful for. Next, set an intention for the day. (These don’t have to change daily, but they can if you so choose.) Once you have clearly identified both of these things prepare to take 5 deep slow equally even breaths in and out your nose.  On the inhale, breathe in all you are grateful for.  See yourself as deserving of all things beautiful and happy and honor that.  Then on the exhale, breathe out your intention for the day. Visualize it happening and feel the sensation of contentment when it occurs. Repeat this 5 times.

2) Before having your morning shower give yourself a brief oil massage. Organic cold pressed (stay away from anything toasted or roasted) Sesame Oil works best all year round for all skin types (in the hot summer months coconut oil is great too!) Use just enough oil to barely wet your hands and rub hands till oil warms from body heat. Begin by rubbing lengthwise up and down each of your four limbs. In a circular motion massage the trunk of your body making your way towards your heart.  While doing so, pay attention to the breath and continue to take long equally even breaths in and out the nose.  As you massage pay close attention to your body. Take note of its beauty and begin a practice of thankfulness for all it has done to serve you. Quiet the negative dialogue.  It is said that consistent practice of self-massaging creates increased circulation, toning of the muscles, calming the nerves, lubrication of the joints, increased mental alertness, improved elimination, softer, smoother skin, increased levels of stamina through the day and better, deeper sleep at night.

3) Enjoy a large glass of  room-temperature filtered water with a squeeze of fresh lemon. The water will help flush out toxins and the lemon will help balance the bodies PH, improve immunity, freshen breath and energize your senses.

There you have it! As you can tell, these “3 Steps to Awaken a Better Day!” won’t take too much time out of your busy morning.  Go ahead, give it a try! Let me know how it works out!

spring!

Happy Spring! I hope  you are enjoying a beautiful transition into this magical season.  Spring is a time to shed that winter coat and feel light and bright.  If winter has left you feeling sluggish, tired, heavy and “blah” then now is the time to shake these winter blues and perk up! Its easier than you think!

Ever stop and really pay attention to why the Earth turns green in the Spring? The trees are blossoming, the grass is growing, the air is getting moist and providing the soil with the nutrients it needs to grow. Fresh new life is everywhere you look!  Shouldn’t we pay attention to this?

Spring is the perfect time to recognize natures signs and tune in.  Begin noticing what the body is craving and feed it with detoxifying and fresh foods so it can cleanse the winter waste and prepare for the heated summer months. The best way to get your body in sync with this seasonal change? Eat your greens!

But why greens?

Greens are powerful detoxifiers that encourage the body to eliminate the buildup from the winter.  This includes fat.  As long as you have toxins, you will probably have excess fat.

Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in green plants, absorbs energy from the sun during the process of photosynthesis. This energy becomes available to us when we eat dark greens.

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.

They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

The reason to flush the body with dark greens in the spring is to replenish the body and blood with new life and energy just as the Earth is doing in so many ways.

Dark green foods, like arugula, cilantro, kale, collard greens, broccoli, broccoli raab, dandelion greens, mustard greens, spring mix, etc. are all powerful detoxifiers. Include a plentiful helping of dark leafy raw greens in your diet at least twice a day.

Enjoy this simple springtime recipe for Spicy Kale & Quinoa- It may be enjoyed hot or leftovers room temperature for lunch the next day!

Spicy Peanut Kale & Quinoa

Ingredients

6 tbsp natural organic unsalted chunky peanut butter

1 tbsp. Braggs Liquid Aminos

1/2” grated ginger

1 clove garlic minced

seeds from 2-3 dried red chili peppers (slit pepper down the middle, remove seeds, discard outer shell)

Directions

Mix above ingredients very well in small bowl (or put all ingredients in food processor if available)

Rinse well and chop a large bunch of Kale, steam quickly (for about 5 minutes) until bright green.

Bring water to a boil in small pot and add Quinoa, boil for about 15 minutes until spirals become clear. Turn off heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.  Drain any excess water.

In large bowl mix Quinoa, Kale, and Peanut Dressing.

Enjoy!

 

food combining

The Nine Basic Rules of Proper Food Combining

1. Eat acids and starches at separate meals. Acids neutralize the alkaline medium required for starch digestion and the result is fermentation and indigestion.

2. Eat protein foods and carbohydrate foods at separate meals. Protein foods require an acid medium for digestion.

            3. Eat but one kind of protein food at a meal.

4. Eat proteins and acid foods at separate meals. The acids of acid foods inhibit the secretion of the digestive acids required for protein digestion. Undigested protein putrefies in bacterial decomposition and produces some potent poisons.

5. Eat fats and proteins at separate meals. Some foods, especially nuts, are over 50% fat and require hours for digestion.

            6. Eat sugars (fruits) and proteins at separate meals.

7. Eat sugars (fruits) and starchy foods at separate meals. Fruits undergo no digestion in the stomach and are held up if eaten with foods that require digestion in the stomach.

            8. Eat melons alone. They combine with almost no other food.

9. Desert the desserts. Eaten on top of meals they lie heavy on the stomach, requiring no digestion there, and ferment. Bacteria turn them into alcohols and vinegars and acetic acids.

Healthy Foods to Eat

Sweet Fruit

Banana, Carob, Date, Fig, Prune, Raisins, Dried fruit, Persimmon, Mango, Papaya, Sapote

 Sub-Acid Fruit

Apple, Apricot, Blackberry, Cherimoya, Cherry, Elderberry, Gooseberry, Grape, Huckleberry, Nectarine, Peach, Pear, Plum, Quince, Raspberry, Sapodilla

Acid Fruit

Currant, Grapefruit, Guava, Kumquat, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Loganberry, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Strawberry, Tamarind, Tangerine, Tomato

Melons

Banana melon, Cantaloupe, Casaba, Christmas melon, Persian melon, Crenshaw melon, Watermelon, Honeydew melon, Muskmelon, Nutmeg melon

Proteins

Almonds, Cashew nuts, Hazel nuts, Hickory nuts, Lentils, Peanuts, Gooseberry, Avocados, Pecans, Pine nuts, Pistachio nuts, Soy beans, Walnuts, Sunflower seeds, Coconuts

Starches

Artichoke, Bean (lima)*, Beets, Chestnut, Carrots, Corn, Hubbard squash, Jerusalem artichoke, Peanuts*, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Yam

* Peanuts, lentils, beans, and all cereals are considered as protein and starch combinations

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Bamboo shoots, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Romaine, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce: Boston, Bibb, Leaf, Romaine, etc., Okra, Parsnip, Pepper (sweet), Rutabaga, Sorrel, Sprouts: Mung bean, alfalfa, wheat, barley, etc., Squash (ex. starchy), Turnip.

granola!

Are you still eating store bought boxed cereals? STOP! Do you realize that packaged breakfast cereals have little to no nutritional value?  All your body is receiving is overly processed grains covered in tons of sugar, in other words, empty calories that are difficult to digest leaving you depleted and not energized.  Isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? Wouldn’t you agree that eating a nutrient packed breakfast is going to set you up for a better day?  Not only is this home-made granola recipe much less expensive than packaged cereals but it is easy to make, composed of whole foods, healthy fats and proteins, tons of stabilizing minerals and you can control the amount of natural sweeteners and sugar you are taking. This granola can be eaten with organic cultured yogurt, coconut milk or just by the handful as a snack!

Andrea Ramirez explains the process of which packaged cereals are made:  “The process by which cereals are made is called extrusion. Basically the cereal sludge is “spitted out” through a little hole with the shape you want. You can get O’s, charms, flakes, “puffed” cereal, etc. This whole thing happens at very high temperatures so the sludge dries up as it’s going through the extruder. The mix of high pressure and high temperature destroys and/or denatures the nutrients in the cereal, especially the proteins — which is why the damage in “healthy” cereals is potentially worse, since they contain more protein and fatty acids than the regular ones.  The pretty cereal pieces are then coated with some oil and sugar so that they keep the attractive crunch — and make any nutrient left in them even harder to access.”

Here is a delicious granola recipe!  I encourage you to visit the bulk bin in your local health food store and get creative with your granola- You can add any twists to it that you like and tailor it to fit your taste… enjoy!

preheat oven to 350 degrees

mix together:

3 cups organic rolled oats

1/2 cup organic raw walnuts

1/4 cup organic raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dehydrated organic coconut flakes

1/4 cup flax, hemp or chia seeds

in separate bowl whisk:

2 organic free-range eggs

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup organic grade B maple syrup

1/2 cup cold-pressed virgin coconut oil

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

fold the wet mixture into the dry, the granola should be coated and fairly moist

spread olive oil, ghee or butter on baking sheet

spread layer of granola on baking sheet

sprinkle with sea salt

bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, remove from the oven and mix then bake for 5-10 minutes longer- keep repeating this until granola is golden brown

after granola has cooled add:

1/2 cup organic dried currants

pack in an air-tight container, will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks

pass the popcorn…

ok, so let me preface this entry with this; being a new mom is the absolute best.  Ive had, and continue to have, the best time of my life.   Its simultaneously exhilarating, amazing and perfect but when the moments of exhaustion set in, its terrifying, I really don’t know if I’m going to make it… today was one of those days!  My little angel is teething and has decided naps are not necessary, so she goes 10-15 hour stretches of not sleeping, needless to say, we are running on empty.

So today, being Valentines, I had all these ideas of grandeur… plans for our first Valentines as a married couple and with our baby.  No-thing-went-as-planned… fussy baby, loads of work, no time to think let alone attempt romance. So I decided that since a gourmet romantic candle-lit dinner with my love was absolutely out of the picture, I would “treat” myself (perhaps feeling a bit sorry for myself) to my favorite snack for dinner and make a big pot of organic heirloom popcorn with loads of ghee and sea salt.  I looked forward to it all day.  I quickly threw it together while trying to keep the baby happy and before I knew it, I was inhaling, devouring, shoving fistfuls of popcorn in my mouth as I juggled 17 other things… I caught myself before too much damage had been done.  Stopped mid-shovel, picked up the bowl, turned around and dumped it in the trash.  I know its wasteful but it was the only way to save myself!

Finally my little angel is sleeping and I have time to reflect on what that episode was all about. For starters, why did I see eating a nutritionally void dinner a way to reward myself?  Secondly, if I did decide to indulge (which is totally great once in a while,) why wasn’t I at least sitting and enjoying it rather than mindlessly shoveling?  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, why didn’t I ask my husband for a few moments of time to just sit, chat and connect?  I can think of a thousand other things that would have “fed” my soul in that moment, but the moment of weakness let an old habit creep in.  If I had fed myself with a loving connection that was readily available to me, would I have still gone for the junk? I doubt it!

What Im making a point of is, it happens to all of us! This is what I teach people to be conscious of and here I was committing the act Ive worked so many years at stopping!  In moments of weakness, fatigue, distraction we make decisions that may not be the best thing for us.  It would have taken me no time at all to throw together some veggies and make a nice warm healthy grounding dinner but instead I ate the #1 food that makes me feel less grounded, screws with my stomach, is completely lacking in anything I needed and worst of all, not even enjoying it!

So whats the solution?  How do I prevent myself from going down this path again?  Maybe there isn’t a solution, we all get off path once in awhile, the trick to moving forward is to not beat ourself up after, to learn from the mistake and empower ourself to make better choices in the future.  Reflection and consistent mindfulness may bring me closer to not going down that path again.

Mindful eating can be such a challenge with a busy life but it is what gives us the energy to keep excelling. Holistic Health Counseling is an opportunity to cultivate that mindful awareness in how we “feed” ourself.  It allows one to take time out of a busy schedule and draw focus on the self so mistakes like I made tonight don’t keep occurring.  It is a way to break the cycle.  If  you feel you would benefit from taking an hour out of your busy week to talk about yourself and the choices you make, please email me at susanduprey@me.com so we can set up your free initial health consultation.  Everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard, this is a great way to connect with yourself on a reflective level so you may achieve what you  know is possible! Its time to feel great!  Now, please pass the popcorn 🙂

sugar, sugar

SUGAR, SUGAR

(aaaaaw, honey, honey)

Sugar cravings can be frustrating and if ignored tend to build up and cause binges that result in more cravings. (Not to mention the emotional battle we wage upon ourselves when we feel we have fallen off the wagon, which causes more binges and repeats the cycle.) The repetitive nature of sugar cravings not only frustrates but often may dictate weight gain and loss of control when trying to restrict.

Lets begin to think about cravings differently.  By really exploring the diet and lifestyle and looking at what is lacking, it is possible to understand your sugar cravings and create new relationship with food.  Translating cravings to understand why the body craves particular things is a very powerful skill because the body craves what it needs.

Lack of vital nutrients can trigger cravings, however, what we crave often does not directly correspond what is missing.  A perfect example; sweets!  Often times a sweet craving may be a result of missing ingredients from the diet- If you often crave sugar after meals, try adding a healthy portion of a good fat to your meal; a tablespoon of raw olive oil or a sprinkling of raw nuts. It may also represent a lack of minerals or or many other things, if you’d like help exploring this in your diet, please feel free to set up a chat with me.

Equally as important to remember, sometimes its not food but love disguised as hunger we are seeking. Before you go crazy examining your diet and thinking you have a lack of nutrients, try scheduling special bonding time with a loved one for your dessert.  See if a hug satisfies you the way a brownie would! (Fatigue can also be a culprit, try adding a mid-day cat nap to help curb your sweet tooth!)

The body strives to create balance, when there is too much of one thing it will crave its alter to balance.  However, we get into trouble when we quench the craving with a more accessible or familiar option and not what is really missing.  When we consume the craving but not the nutrient, the cycle continues and the imbalance deepens.

I urge you to think more about your entire diet and lifestyle when cravings set in.  Keep a notebook and journal to take note of the time when particular cravings hit, what the day preceding the craving entailed, and how you handled the craving.

Keeping track and reviewing cravings should shed light on patterns as well as empower you with self responsibility. Imagine how great it would feel to unlock the mystery behind your sugar addiction!

Most importantly, remember you have power over your cravings- You are not a victim of your diet and change begins with reaching out for support. As always, I can be reached at susanduprey@me.com if health counseling seems helpful to you!

its gettin hot in here….

its gettin hot in here…. or at least it should be. Its winter! lets heat that body up! Ive been getting a lot of requests for juice recipes lately– and while it is totally possible to juice healthily in the winter, for most, its not what i recommend.

What most of our bodies need (especially you, women) is heat through the winter months. A cool damp acidic environment is one that may breed sickness like colds, coughs, irregular menstrual cycles, physical ailments like aches, pains, stiff joints, mood fluctuations like depression, inexplicable sadness or just overall winter blah’s….

A good idea to keep the mood elevated and the body PH balanced is liquid chlorophyll. Liquid chlorophyll is the suns energy is a very pure form, it can be easily taken by dropping in a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. Liquid chlorophyll has also been known to raise red blood cell levels, increase iron levels, improve immune function, remedy constipation, reduce gas and eliminate bad breath.

One more winter tip to keep the body warm is this recipe for raw homemade “Chai Nut Milk” It is a super healthy fat which the body needs to keep warm with lots of heating spices. Its the perfect sweet thing to sip on before bed or early in the morning.

Begin by:
Soak (overnight or all day for an evening snack) a cup of raw organic cashews, macadamias or brazil nuts.

Drain the water and add 2 cups of fresh filtered water.

Blend in high powered blender with a dash of organic:
cinnamon
nutmeg
allspice
black pepper
cardamom
clove

Add:
grated fresh ginger
scrape half a pod of vanilla bean
2 teaspoons of raw local honey or grade B maple syrup

You can either blend these on high for a few minutes until warm or heat on stovetop until warm. A good way to keep the enzymes intact in order to keep “raw” is to test the temp by sticking your finger in the saucepan, as long as your finger can touch the “milk” comfortably, its not too hot.

You can also prepare this ahead of time by putting a few teaspoons of each spice into a jar and mixing them up to create your own “masala” When you are ready just soak your nuts grate some fresh ginger, add your sweetener, throw it in the blender and you are ready to go!

enjoy!!

how ya feelin?

Hi There! How Ya Feelin? Hope your answer is great! Just in case its not, now is a good time to ask yourself, “Why?” Is it possible that the holiday rush and the excitement of the new year has left you feeling the winter blah’s? Maybe a little too much sugar, alcohol, food, rushing around, cold weather, etc… How will you change things around and get yourself feeling great?

Holistic Health Counseling is a great way to get back on and stay on track. Id be more than happy to offer you, or your referral a FREE one hour health consultation to review what works for you, what doesn’t work for you and why.

During your free consultation we will make a plan of action and if you decide you need more support, together we will make sure you stick to the plan! This may include an initial detox that I will custom design for you.

By making the choice to speak with a Holistic Health Counselor you are taking care of you; Something most of us could do a bit more of this time of year. Thanks for taking the time to read. Wishing you lots of health and happiness!

Article Written by (one of my teachers) Joshua Rosenthal

I’ve spent over 25 years observing how people eat and what they eat and it’s fascinating. What I’ve noticed is that people are confused and frustrated. One month there will be a study claiming the health benefits of eggs and the next month there will be a study claiming it’s a bad source of cholesterol.

I’m going to give you the non-frustrating approach to healthy eating and living. An approach that will be easy to follow for the rest of your life. It’s based on two little theories that have helped my clients, over 9,000 Integrative Nutrition students and their clients.

Bio-individuality
For several years I followed a macrobiotic diet and I counseled and taught others to follow these principles to improve their health. I experienced improved health so I truly believed my clients would too. I got very mixed results. Some people experienced better health, but not everyone. So I began to experiment. Some of them got better if they ate more raw foods, while others got better if they ate less raw foods. I realized that one person’s food is another person’s poison.

Primary Food
When I was experimenting with my clients on different ways of eating I came across people who experienced improved health by leaving a dysfunctional career or falling in love. It was fascinating! I realized that there’s more to health than the foods we eat. Yes, it’s good to eat your vegetables, but relationships, career, spirituality and exercise is food for the soul.

These are the two “big concepts” that I’ve found have the largest impact on my clients and students.

However, there are also a lot more detailed concepts you can play with. But remember, in the spirit of bio-individuality, these are not hard-and-fast rules that work for everyone. Try your own take on them and see if they might be useful for you.

1. Drink more water: There is no right amount of water to drink, but generally the bigger and more active you are, the more you should drink. By increasing the amount of water you drink you can significantly reduce cravings, aches and pains and increase your energy.

2. Practice cooking: You might hate me for saying this, but cooking is a fundamental step to healthier living. By making your own meals you know what’s going into them. Meals don’t need to take hours to prepare and involve multiple ingredients. Here are some simple recipes to get you started.

3. Increase whole grains: Trust me it’s not these types of carbohydrates that have led to the obesity epidemic, but rather the processed goods like doughnuts. Whole grains are some of the best sources of nutritional support and provide long-lasting energy.

4. Increase sweet vegetables: People forget that these exist and they are the perfect medicine for the sweet tooth. Instead of depending on processed sugar, you can add more naturally sweet flavors to your diet and dramatically reduce sweet cravings. This is a great sweet vegetable recipe.

5. Increase leafy green vegetables: These are seriously lacking in the American diet and they are most essential for creating long-lasting health. More specifically they help eliminate depression, improve liver, gallbladder and kidney function.

6. Experiment with protein: The majority of Americans eat way too much protein and mostly in the form of animal meat. Try other forms like beans or soy.

7. Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco: Did you notice I said eat less instead of don’t eat? If I told you not to drink coffee or chocolate you would want it all the more. By increasing your whole grains, vegetables and water you will naturally crowd out the more processed items.

8. Develop easy self-care habits: People get so wrapped up in their busy lives that they forget to take care of themselves. This can be something as simple as a relaxing bath and as nice as a day at the spa.

9. Have healthy relationships: I call love the ultimate superfood. A loving, supportive relationship can nourish your soul. What’s more is when you feel love and happiness you are more likely to eat better. Reach out to that one person who makes you feel loved and nourished.

10. Find physical activity: You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. What gets you moving?

11. Find work you love or a way to love the work you have: So many of us spend 8 hours a day in a job that is unfulfilling and end up stressed out which leads to a slew of health problems. Ask yourself if your job is aligned with your values.

12. Develop a spiritual practice: Some people freak out when I tell them this, but it’s really about connecting with yourself. You don’t need to start going to church or praying every day. Maybe being spiritual means taking a walk in nature. Finding a spiritual practice can help you slow down and appreciate the non-material things in life.

This is the most laid back health program ever, but it really works. You don’t need to follow the steps in order and you can do one step a week. Pick the step that you are most interested in trying. Go for it!

I also recommend that you don’t do it alone.

happy new year!

Happy New Year to you and yours! Remember the elephant in the room post a few months back? Ganesha is the Lord of obstacles but also the Lord of Beginnings- The new year is a perfect time to begin your Ganesha Mantra practice. A good mantra to begin with is “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha” translating to “Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles” (Gum is the seed sound.)

Whether you practice Japa or not, this mantra can be useful. If you don’t have a current practice but would like to start, begin by sitting comfortably in a quiet room. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and begin repeating the mantra softly out loud. Repeat as many times as you like until you find your mind beginning to wander, when it does, stop until tomorrow. Finish with a few more deep breaths and “OM.” Create some consistency with your practice, do it at the same time and in the same place everyday and watch what happens!

If uncomfortable with this, feel free to email, susanduprey@me.com, I’d be more than happy to chat. Until next time….Enjoy your practice!