Wellness

Peachy Green Smoothie

Peachy Green Smoothie

I made this delicious smoothie a few days ago.  Not only is it full of fruits and veggies it also packs a protein punch with over 17grams of plant based protein.  The Peachy Green is a combination of spinach, unsweetened almond milk, peaches, banana, raspberries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, a splash of Madagascar vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon.  While spinach is the veggie super star of this green smoothie, there are some other powerful ingredients you may not be as familiar with.

Chia seeds are an ancient Mayan and Incan superfood. In fact, the Mayan word for strength is chia. These little beauties were so valuable they were once used as currency and fueled warriors in battle. Chia seeds are rich in omega 3’s even more so than flax seeds and unlike flax seeds they don’t have to be ground in order for your body to access the nutrients. They are also a complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential ones. Chia seeds are antioxidant power houses and are an excellent source of fiber. Oh, and one tablespoon has more calcium than a glass of milk.

Hemp seeds or, hemp hearts as they are called in their shelled state, are a great source of plant based protein. You may just now being hearing about hemp seeds but they have been grown and consumed around the globe for thousands of years. Like chia seeds they are also a complete protein and easily digestible. 3 tablespoons provide 10 grams of protein. But the wonders of this superfood don’t stop there. It had the ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. In fact, it contains the highest botanical source of essential fatty acids. It’s also a great source of fiber. They have a light nutty taste and can easily be blended into smoothies or oatmeal or used to top soups, salads, roasted veggies, or added to granola. And no, it cannot make you high. High on energy, but that’s it.

Peachy Green Smoothie

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 of a frozen bannana

1tbsp of chia seeds

3tbsp of hemp hearts

2 cups of spinach

1/2 to 1 whole peach (I used just a half)

1/4 cup raspberries

1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

1 tsp of cinnamon or according to taste

Add all ingredients in  blender and blend until smooth.

To your health,

lauren

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How to Create a Positive Internal Environment– and Why it’s Important

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I read a life changing sentence this week: “ There are 100 million sensory receptors within the body, and ten trillion synapses in the nervous system, making the mind 100,000 times more sensitive to its internal environment than to its external one. So it is truly from a place within that we receive and assimilate most of our knowledge.”- Anodea Judith
And yet we spend so little time actually paying attention to what is happening within us. We can have powerful intuitions through embodied knowledge but we dismiss these insights. We can identify our feelings, such as fear, anxiety, or lack, but we stop short in questioning why it is we feel this way. Or where in our body do we physically feel this emotion? What messages is your mind sending to your internal environment? Are you receiving love notes of acceptance and serenity or hate mail full of self-doubt, judgment, and worry? My greatest struggle in creating a happy internal environment is sifting through the mounds of hate mail my ego likes to send me.

Dear Lauren,

What makes you qualified to write about this? You are not Yoda, you can’t control me. I own you. This isn’t going to be helpful. You should really just stop. We both know you would be happier if you were napping right now. You should do that instead.

With endless criticism and judgment,
Your mind

What we think matters. A lot. It paints our internal landscapes. So if the greatest influence on our mind is within us, then we are truly accountable for our own happiness or lack thereof. That’s right. It’s you. It’s 100,000 times just you and what you are creating. What exactly are you creating? Anger? Blame? Judgment? Fear? How about just general negativity? You might even be thinking,” I don’t create any of those things.” However, it is also a possibility that you are creating all of those things, but are not yet even aware you are engaging in those powerfully depleting energies. Your thoughts are powerful, they shape both your internal and external world. The following are five steps to help you begin the journey of creating a positive internal environment.

Watch Your Thoughts
This first step requires a focused mindfulness. On some level you are always hearing your thoughts. However, because you have so many thoughts in the course of a single day it is easy to tune them out and allow them to become white noise inside your head. Instead, try paying attention to them. See if you can remove yourself from your thoughts so that they are separate from you. By doing so it makes them easier to observe. Then sit back and watch. What kinds of words are being used internally? Is the overall picture positive or doom and gloom? How often are your thoughts focused around worry or fear? How often are you blaming, judging, or criticizing someone? How often do you praise? How often are your thoughts compassionate and accepting?

Why are You Afraid
Through watching your thoughts you move into awareness. When you judge or attack others or yourself you are creating fear based emotions within you. Through observation of your thoughts you can now begin to evaluate them. With thoughts of a negative nature ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Sometimes the answer will be completely irrational which is ok. The other day a woman attending a meeting in our office building asked me if I had a phone charger she could borrow. In my head I watched my thoughts attack her. “Who just asks a stranger to borrow their phone charger?” “I don’t know this woman; she doesn’t work here.” I didn’t have a phone charger to give her, but as I evaluated these thoughts I realized how irrational they were. What was I so afraid of? The lack of possibly not having my phone charger returned? She most likely really needed a charger otherwise she would not have asked a complete stranger for theirs. Evaluating your thoughts is important because it sheds light on our fears, the rational and irrational.

Stay in the Now
How often are your internal thoughts focused on something that has not yet happened or something that has already happened? I would bet that the majority of the negative thoughts you construct are worries or anticipation of future events. Or alternatively, they are rooted in reliving and holding onto past events. Let go of both. The past is not a predictor of the future, although your mind tricks you into thinking so. The future does not exist. Stay in the now. Observe and react only to what is happening right now, as though it were happening without the possibility of a future or memory of a past. Doing this one step will remove many fear-based energies. There is only right now.

Wage War
Your natural state is one of compassion and freedom. It is worth battling for a positive internal environment and for a loving mind. In order to achieve this we need to abandon judgment. Give up judging other people and yourself. The problem is not the other person or something in the external environment, the problem is within you and your judgment of a situation. Situations just are; you choose how to label them, good, bad, difficult, life changing. I’ll share an ugly secret with you about the human condition: we are addicted to our tensions. We talk about how these negative aspects of ourselves are bad, how we don’t want negativity and yet we continue to consume it and use it to fuel large parts of our lives. You can help kick the addiction by foregoing judgment. It is hard work but the war is worth waging. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself

Love Yourself
How you feel about others and the external world is a projection of your internal world. You can change these feelings by shifting how you feel about yourself. Where is there unhappiness within you? What are you judging in yourself? Where are you holding on to anger? Be compassionate and kind to yourself. This can be really difficult sometimes. I know for myself that it is far easier for me to forgive and give kindness to others than to myself. I am my hardest critic. If you struggle with accepting yourself, imagine how you treat someone you love unconditionally. How do you treat your child, your brother or sister, your beloved? I bet you are gentle with them. I bet you wrap them in compassion and warmth. I bet that you are giving and affirm their worth. I bet you forgive them. I bet you love them fiercely. Now do that for yourself.  No one deserves your love more than you.

“There is no separation between the mind and the body, and everything that we’re thinking or feeling or experiencing over the course of a lifetime, or lifetimes, has an effect on your cellular tissue. So your body remembers everything and even though we have as human beings an incredibly — a gorgeous ability to reconcile or to reason, our bodies don’t have that same ability to heal unless we’re moving through experiences in our life in a spiritual way. So what I’m saying is if we’re holding onto hate, blame, shame, anger, rage, sadness, or grief, something like that, those emotions can be as toxic on our physical body as a poor diet or as inertia and they manifest as tension, stress, and anxiety. So our physical body is actually masking the emotional resonance that lies beneath it.”- Seane Corn
With love,
lauren

7 Tips for Keeping New Habits

yogaCreating this blog and posting regularly, is a new habit I established as part of the Yoga Girl challenge. I decided to use my new routine of posting at least 3 times each week as a catalyst to write some tips and tricks for establishing and keeping new habits.

Across the internet, magazines, and social media we frequently see 21 day challenges. These challenges ask participants to adopt a new routine for 21 days, promising that after that time a fully-fledged habit will be in place. However, where this magic 21 day number came from is completely undocumented and not supported by any scientific research. Allow yourself to release the one size fits all notion that you can form and permanently establish a new habit in 21 days. Or alternatively, choose to hold on to that notion if it is a strong motivating force for you.

I know first-hand that establishing habits is difficult. I am a world class negotiator when it comes to talking myself out of habits and granting exceptions. But each time I allow myself to do this, guess what happens? The habit doesn’t stick. So now when I want to establish a new habit I employ the following tips before beginning.

Choose Wisely
Listen to your intuition. What is your body, mind, lifestyle begging you to change? When you begin a habit that is aligned with an inner desire to change it is easier to make that habit a practice. Your gut is supporting you. Often when we give our souls what they have been asking for we feel amazing. We find new ways of being, new favorite activities, and interests. For years my soul had longed for a daily meditation practice. Beginning this new habit was always at the top of my resolutions and yet I never did it, even though part of me was longing for this habit. I just wasn’t listening. And honestly, I thought it would be far too difficult an undertaking to begin. But when I finally did commit to beginning my meditation practice (a decision that was brought about entirely because a psychic told me I needed to meditate) it was actually easier than I anticipated because the part of me that had wanted this habit all along was overjoyed with my beginning.

Put Your Pants on One Leg at a Time
If you tried to put on your jeans by inserting both legs at the same time you would topple over in a tangle of legs and fabric. The same is true when you try to begin multiple habits at the same time, you topple over. Start with only one new habit. Creating new habits requires a shift in balance, so allow yourself to make adjustments one habit at a time.

Be Specific
Determine what exactly you want to change. Saying that you are going to make running your new habit lacks specificity, which pretty much guarantees it will also lack staying power. To help determine the specificity of your new habit ask yourself: What will this look like? How will this be accomplished? When will this habit be performed? And most importantly, don’t forget to ask yourself why you want to establish your new habit. Having a clear desired outcome makes you more likely to stick with your habit.

Start Small
So you have your ONE new habit that you are committed to adding into your daily routine. Let’s say your goal is to eat healthier. First off, I would encourage you to make that more specific. What does that mean? Eating more servings of fruits and veggies? Drinking more water? Cutting out processed foods or added sugars? Ok, so maybe you want to eat more fruits and veggies. Start small. Begin by replacing just one thing. Swap your snack of cheese and crackers for some veggies and hummus. When you’ve implemented this change for a week or so, try adding another small tweak. Could you add some delicious fruit to your breakfast of choice? Or add an extra vegetable serving to your dinner meal? If you keep this progression you will soon be swapping your lunchtime sandwich for a veggie abundant salad or start whipping up green smoothies for your go to breakfast. You’ll also increase the longevity of your habit. You can do one small thing right? Of course you can!

Plan
Your new habit will not yet be second nature to you so it helps to formulate a plan. Make grocery lists that will insure you have healthy options for meals and snacks on hand. Take a water bottle to work with you. Lay out your gym clothes the previous night for your morning run. Remove all of the obstacles that would prevent you from following through on your habit.

Listen to your thoughts
What is your internal dialogue saying? Monitor what you allow yourself to think. The annoying roommate in my head likes to tell me all kinds of lies about how I can’t do something. Sometimes it even formulates these elaborate excuses as to why I shouldn’t do something. When you catch yourself thinking these thoughts, acknowledge them and then tell your inner mean girl that the statement is not true. “It is not true that I have no follow-through. I complete many things I set my mind to.” And then give an example. I also like to laugh or smile at my sneaky mean girl when I catch on to the games she’s trying to play.

Create Accountability
Tell others about your new habit. You never know who you will inspire and sharing your goal and progress with others makes you accountable. But at the end of the day, you are ultimately only accountable to yourself. This also means that you are the only person that stands in the way of your new habit. Hold yourself accountable. When I start a new habit I often have the desire to skip a day, which leads to usually skipping multiple days, which can lead to the abandonment of the habit. A trick I’ve learned is to not let myself off the hook. But we are human, and we have days where we really don’t want to practice yoga or go to the gym. On those days I remind myself that not practicing is not an option, but that I am willing to adjust that day’s practice. Maybe you really don’t feel like running your two miles, but you could run one and walk the other. The important thing is to not skip days.

I hope some of these tips help you keep your new habits.  You are a source of greatness. You can move mountains if you want to, eating some carrots is going to be easy.

Love,
lauren