If you have already had opportunities to experience the near infrared sauna, you may know all the benefits. But in case you haven’t heard I’m going to share with you a few highlights of the benefits of the near infrared sauna and then, I’m going to share some tips with you to get even more out of your sauna session.
You can enhance your sauna experience with these tips:
Dry Brush your skin just before entering the sauna (bring your brush with you!). Benefits of Dry Brushing:
1. Lymphatic Support: The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin. Proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and helps the body detoxify itself naturally.
2. Exfoliation: This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. I noticed less dry skin and much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after dry skin brushing. My skin has stayed soft thanks to this built-in way to exfoliate.
3. Clean Pores (& Smaller Pores!): The added benefit of exfoliating the skin is clearing oil, dirt, and residue from the pores. Use a smaller, gentler dry brush for the face (don’t use the stiffer body brush here… ouch!).
4. Reduces Cellulite: Though the evidence is anecdotal, There have been many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helps to reduce cellulite. There isn’t much research to back the cellulite claims, but dry brushing feels great and makes skin softer, so there isn’t really any downside to trying it!5. Natural Energy Boost: I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night but it is great in the morning. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy.
Selecting a Dry BrushChoose a firm, natural bristle brush with a long handle, which allows you to reach your entire back and easily brush the bottoms of your feet and the backs of your legs.
How to Dry Brush: Dry brushing can be done daily over the whole body, preferably in the morning before showering. Start with a gentle brush and soft pressure. Work up to a firmer brush and more firm pressure over time.
Here’s How to Dry Brush the Skin: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. My skin is slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure.
I recommend brining your phone into the sauna and putting it on airplane mode so you are not tempted to check facebook, emails, texts etc. But bring your phone in for music. You favorite music is always a good idea. However, my recommendation is for music that has been proven to calm the mind and nervous system! This music is called Binaural Beats.
Fast facts on binaural beats:
How do binaural beats work?
Research has shown that when a person listens to binaural beats for a recommended time, their levels of arousal change.
Researchers believe these changes occur because the binaural beats activate specific systems within the brain. An electroencephalogram (EEG) that recorded the electrical brain activity of people listening to binaural beats showed that the effect on a person's body varied according to the frequency pattern used.
The four known categories of frequency pattern include:
Amazon Music has a few great tracks for Binaural Beats that I use. They can also be found on iTunes and other music apps. Send me a message if you’d like my picks!
It’s best to take the time during your sauna session to just relax. I know some people like to read while in the sauna and that’s ok! The sauna is not the time for catching up on emails, texts, or phone calls. Give yourself that 20+ minutes to relax. Practice breathing exercise. Practice calming and clearing your mind. Focus on the heating of your body and how your body feels. Focus on the sweat as it begins to bead and then, roll down your skin. Listen to your body.
Take Your Time
After your timer beeps, don’t just jump out and get dressed. Take your time cooling down.
When the timer signals the end of your session, I recommend opening the sauna, but stay inside. Move the stool to the side and sit on your towel on the floor. Take your time to wipe the sweat from your body. As you are wiping your sweat focus on those areas where you may be having problems (i.e. that sore neck, achy back, bad knee) and while you are wiping your sweat, visualize wiping away all the aches, pains, and problems. Slowly cool down. Get out of the sauna (don’t forget to turn off the light;) and wipe yourself down one more time, before you either shower off or put your clothes back on. It is important to cool your body slowly as not to create oxidative stress, but also to avoid getting a headache from the extreme temperature changes.
And to add to the enhancement of your sauna session, I have included in the sauna an ionizer, which creates negative ions to clean the air during your session. The ionizers main function is to purify the air and kill odor causing bacteria. Inside a sauna, keeping the air fresh is critical because of the heat and perspiration. Without purifying the air inside the sauna after usage, the sauna can get stuffy and smell bad. Also, inside the sauna is a Himalayan salt lamp which also produces negative ions which are electronically charged molecules made of oxygen (created in nature by wind, sunlight, rainstorms, the surf.) Effective in eliminating indoor pollutants, negative ions are known to speed healing and bring relief to such health conditions as migraines, sinus and lung conditions, among others.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the sauna yet, send me a message and we can set up an appointment!
This recipe is a staple in my house. This is the go-to snack for my husband and he makes it almost everyday. Of course, my son eats it too because...Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! But there is no guilt in this treat! There is no sugar and it’s made with beans!! Before you you roll your eyes and click that “x”, hear me out! I have served this at birthday parties and other events and kids LOVE it! They think they are eating the “real” thing!
You can make a big batch and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Pull it out and snack on it for a bit and put it back in! You don’t have to serve it on bananas. You could eat it plain, dip pretzels or animal crackers in it, or smear it on a piece of toast! I promise you will not be disappointed with this one and your kids will love that you are willing to make them cookie dough for breakfast!!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Reach out to me with any comments or questions!
Peace, Love, Plants,
I’m not really a recipe follower. Mostly I use a recipe as a “guide”. I use the term “guide” loosely, hence the quotation marks. Sometimes I get adventurous and create my own recipes. And when I say create my own recipes, I mean throw some stuff together and see if it tastes good. I’d say I’m batting .500. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. I’m being kind when I say it’s bad because when I fail, I fail epicly. Like the time I made rice and my husband thought we were having oatmeal. Or the time I made lo mein noodles and they turned into a ball of glue. Oh, we at all of those anyway, but they were NOT good!
Well, I’m here to share this new recipe with you. I threw some stuff together and blasted it out of the park! I didn’t think to take any picture of it along the way because as I said, I only get it right about 50% of the time.
My family and I have been loving the new breakfast sausage recipe that I discovered and posted on my facebook page; so, I’ve been playing with it and trying other methods. I’ve done smoked sausage patties and here I used an Italian sausage approach. Also, I used lentil penne here, but feel free to use your favorite or whatever you have on hand.
I won’t waste any more time describing how deliciously cheesy, a little spicy and savory this dish is...
Let me know your thoughts!
Peace, Love, Plants,
I'm answering the #1 question I get, not only because it comes up so often, but because I feel it is vital that everyone has the facts about this overwhelmingly, misguided perception perpetuated by the media and the-billions-of-dollars-a-year meat industry:
Where do you get your protein?
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question...I could buy a billboard! First, I will discuss why we need protein, second, sources of protein and more importantly, third, I will explain why too much protein is bad NOT good.
In 1839, protein was discovered and since then has been revered as “THE” most important nutrient for the human body. (I could write pages on just protein; so, I'm going to try and control myself and make this as user-friendly as possible. I encourage you research this topic; check out the sources that I have cited at the end.) Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids; essential and nonessential. Nonessential amino acids (11) are the ones our bodies manufacture themselves and we do not need to find in our diets. Essential amino acids (9) are the ones that we must consume through food sources. Animal sources of protein are complete proteins, which means they contain all the essential amino acids. Plant based proteins can be incomplete; whereas, not every plant contains all of the essential amino acids, but some do! (No worries about plants and amino acids! We'll discuss this later) Wait?! “Did you just say animal protein is better?!” NO! I said it was a complete protein. Yes, it contains all the essential amino acids; however, animal products are not a good source of protein. Animal products cause diseases. Check out some of these facts:
Ok, Ok, you are seeing it, right? Scientifically and clinically, the consumption of animal products has been shown to increase risk of all diseases. So play it safe and get your protein from plant sources.
Protein is found throughout the plant kingdom and shocking as this may be for some people, some plants have more protein than meat! GASP!! Now, don't go believing that myth that you have to eat “complementary proteins” meaning you have to eat certain plants in specific combinations to meet your amino acid needs. Eating a diet rich in plants will meet ALL of your needs. Jeff Novick, RD explains it best on his website: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/3/28_The_Myth_Of_Complimenting_Proteins.html
So what plants can we eat? ALL OF THEM!! Here's a great info-graphic showing the protein in plant foods. This graph is based on the percentage of protein per calorie. As you can see, plant foods are rich in protein. A majority of them containing between 20-30% protein!!
Now that you've got all the facts, STOP worrying about protein! Protein deficiency in the United States is extremely rare and only happens in persons not getting enough calories to meet their daily needs. The Center for Disease Control estimates that the average woman and man needs only 46-56g of protein per day, with the physically active individuals needing slightly more.
Something you do NEED to be concerned with is TOO MUCH protein! The majority of Americans get MORE than the recommended daily allowance! The body takes excessive amounts of protein, coverts them to fatty acids, which are then stored as fat. Also, the excess could be filtered through the liver and kidneys adding extra stress to these detoxifying organs. The consumption of higher amounts of protein have been linked to increased cancer rates, bone disorders, kidney problems (specifically kidney stones and cancer), liver diseases, and heart disease.
Peace, Love, Plants,
Many people begin their workouts with a few arm circles and toe touches and that’s about the extent of the stretching in their workouts. Whether you are weight training, running, or doing yoga it is important to have a stretching routine; however, for optimal performance and injury prevention you must warm up your body before performing deep stretches. When your body is cool it is difficult to get those muscles and fibers stretching. Not only may you find it harder to stretch before your workout, but you may be setting yourself up for injury and a decrease in athletic performance. Rather than begin your workout with these static (holding position) stretches, it has been shown that dynamic (moving quickly through positions) stretching pre-workout leads to a decrease in injury and an increase in overall flexibility.
As a yoga teacher, we begin our classes with dynamic stretches to warm up the body before we being the deeper stretches with longer holds. We move through sun salutations to get the heart rate up and blood flowing. Men’s Fitness magazine met with author David Behm, Ph.D., from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, to find out just how to incorporate static stretching into your regimen to get the maximum benefit. Here's what he suggested.
The warmup, deconstructed
1. Aerobic component: 5 to 10 minutes of running or cycling
2. Static and dynamic stretching: 5 minutes (minimum)
3. Dynamic activity: 5 to 15 minutes that involve movements associated with your activity
1. Aerobic component:Every athlete has his own needs, depending on their sport, so the stretches and their duration can be manipulated, but the aerobic component of the warmup is pretty universal. Behm suggests running or cycling for five minutes (up to 10 minutes) so your breathing frequency and heart rate begin to increase and you start to sweat. "The main thing is you want to get your core temperature up one to two degrees," Behm says. "Of course, no one’s going to run around with a thermometer in his or her mouth, but as long as you start to sweat a little, that’ll tell you that your temperature has gone up one degree."
2. Static and dynamic stretches:If you're a long-distance runner and endurance is the main component of your workout, you don't really need an extensive range of motion. Behm explains: "The amount of static stretching of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves could be minimal (e.g. 2-3 stretches of 15 seconds each for each muscle group) with a greater emphasis on dynamic stretching." But for athletes who stop and go, pivot, and make abrupt, hard movements—athletes who play tennis, soccer, baseball, football, even CrossFitters) there should be a greater emphasis on static stretching, per Behm. You could do 3 stretches of 20 seconds each for the quadriceps, hamstrings, groin, abductors, calves, lower back, and shoulders, as well as dynamic stretches. [See below for specific stretch suggestions.]
"Five minutes of static stretching can decrease your incidence of injuries, but we also recommend you don’t hold a stretch for more than 60 seconds per muscle group, otherwise you may impair performance," Behm says. What you can do is break things down; perform 4 stretches of 15 seconds each, or 3 stretches of 20 seconds each. "Rather than taking a rest between stretches, just go to the next muscle," Behm advises. "It's more efficient to do the stretching like a circuit." And you can stretch for longer than five minutes so long as you keep that dynamic activity before and after. "The chances of getting performance impairments are very low when you format your warmup this way," Behm adds.
No matter what your sport, everyone needs to stretch the major muscle groups. (This is not an exhaustive list—just examples.) You could perform the following:
And if you're going to do a any exercise that involves lateral movements (like we noted above), then you'll want to add stretches for your groin and hips.
Some examples of some dynamic stretches and movements: High knees, butt kicks, walking lunges with rotations, Frankenstein walk, T-pushups, jump squats.
You can find directions for majority of these stretches here.
3. Dynamic activity:Once the static stretching is complete, you'll want to do an additional aerobic component. "The 5- to 15-minute dynamic activity should incorporate the movements involved in your activity so that the specific muscles are warmed up and the neural pathways are well established to ensure coordination," Behm says. So, if you're doing a track workout, do 5 to 10 jog to sprint accelerations; if you're weightlifting, complete some bodyweight movements that mimic what you'll complete with weights (air squats before weighted squats, for example).
It is important to stretch for optimal performance; however, save the static stretches for post-workout recovery and time to cool down which will help to slowly lower your heart rate. A cool-down routine will decrease post workout soreness.
Have you ever paid close attention to the cycles in life? Take for example the cycle of the seasons, the dormancy of winter, the rebirth of spring growing into summer and the fading of autumn back to winter. Or the sun rising each morning and bringing light, only to set each evening, cloaking us in darkness to rest and renew for the coming day.
Some of my friends and I have been taking a closer look at the moon cycle. I've always had a keen interest in the power of the moon- the effect it has on the 4 women who live in my household, the fitful insomnia the full moon brings, the push and pull of the ocean tides along with our emotions. It's fascinating stuff.
This evening, at 9:18pm Eastern, we will experience the first new moon of 2018. To astrologers, this day is the true New Year's Day, the best time to manifest and set an intention for a certain area of your life.
Kriss Lumsden, astrologer and creator of astroManifest and the Moon Manifesting Planner, has written a beautiful post below about this particular new moon and what it might mean for you. If you don't already have one, you will need to print your natal chart to see what area of your life you should be focusing on. Simply go to astro.com (or any other birth chart generator) and enter your date, time and location of your birth to receive your free natal chart. To get to know more about Kriss Lumsden and moon manifesting visit krisslumsden.com , check out her Facebook page astroManifest and her brand new 2018 Moon Manifesting Planner.
Capricorn New Moon
by Kriss Lumsden
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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