YOGA FOR YOUR PLATE: MINDFUL EATING
5 WAYS TO SLOW DOWN AND SAVOR YOUR HOLIDAY MEAL
PAUSE & CONNECT. After you give thanks for your meal, but before you pick up your fork, take a moment to connect with your appetite. How hungry do you feel? Of all the glorious food on the table before you, what are you truly hungry for? What flavors will nourish you and replenish your energy? Try not to choose foods out of habit. Fill your plate first with the foods your body is saying it most needs. Then, embellish your plate with smaller amounts of those traditional holiday favorites.
CLEAR DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS. Although it’s less likely at holiday time when family and friends gather from near and far, it’s easy to forget to turn off the digital devices that are such a huge part of our lives. Sure, someone will complain about missing a “key play” in the big game, but what’s more important? Everyone at your table should be in the moment for the main part of the meal-free of distraction. The more distracted you are with electronics during your meal, the more you will eat because you haven’t taken a moment to pause and connect with your food.
TAKE BITES, NOT GULPS. Instead of shoveling food into your mouth, take smaller bites and focus on chewing and tasting it. This is especially important for men. Digestion begins with the act of chewing. Salivary enzymes break down food the moment it enters your mouth. Your taste buds awaken to flavors as you chew. Pause between bites to set your utensils down and breathe.
ENGAGE ALL THE SENSES. The taste of food is just one way to appreciate it. Throughout your meal, notice how food smells and how it looks on the plate. Notice the colors and the textures. Consider the nutrients that the food will provide for you. Appreciate every aspect of eating (and celebrating) the holiday meal.
BE A NONJUDGMENTAL DINER. Being a nonjudgmental diner is about paying attention to your needs for nourishment and not the person’s next to you. And if you feel yourself on the verge of overindulgence, make it a conscious choice. Choose your favorite holiday treat and bring a focused awareness to eating it. Almost certainly, you’ll so enjoy and be satisfied by that first piece of pie, you won’t feel the urge for seconds.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT. . .
“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are born with an abundance of silica, which is why babies have such beautifully smooth and glowing skin. As we age our silica levels decrease, revealing the telltale signs of aging such as dry wrinkled skin, bone loss, weakened gums and teeth, thinning or loss of hair, and brittle nails to name a few. It’s no wonder the symptoms of aging are linked with the degradation of silica production. Without silica, our bodies would literally break apart!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SILICA
- Maintains healthy hair, skin, and nails
- It sits inside collagen, acting as glue, providing strength, flexibility and resilience to collagen and elastic connective tissues.
- Silica is a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes and calms skin irritations and helps to alleviate eczema and psoriasis.
- Silica contributes to skin’s youthful glow, brightness, firmness, smoothness, thickness, elasticity, strength, and hydration.
- It reduces skin’s facial pores, blemishes, and wrinkles while increasing elasticity and firmness of blood vessels.
- This improves the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to your skin cells.
- Picture from What is Silica
RECIPE: CRANBERRY ORANGE BISCOTTI
- 1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt*
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pistachios
Serves: 12 baby biscotti
* Celtic Sea Salt has a stronger taste than other salts. If you find your biscotti too salty for your liking, try reducing to a little less than a 1/4 tsp.
Compliments of Elana’s Pantry.
Your health practitioner may suggest taking a plant-based DES with meals. These are usually derived from pineapple (bromelain) or papaya (papain). Another source of DES is derived from microbes and includes varieties of lipase, amylase, protease, and lactase, which all have unique effects in the digestive process.
The medical premise for a DES is to facilitate thorough digestion of food and to prevent foodstuffs from lingering in the gut where they can generate unfavorable bacteria and yeast (at the expense of healthy gut bacteria). Digestive enzyme supplements may also enhance the nutrition received from the foods you eat, which is good for the whole body. Research shows that taking a DES can promote bowel movement regularity, reduce or eliminate other gastric disturbances such as reflux or gas, and ease the symptoms of food intolerance (e.g., lactose).
Digestive enzymes can be used by adults and children alike, but consult your practitioner for proper dosage. Do not take digestive enzymes without the input of your doctor if you have active stomach or duodenal ulcers, inflammation of the bowels, bleeding disorders, or are scheduled for surgery.
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “The Naturopathic Approach to Digestive Disorders.” November 1, 2012.
- Fieker, A., J. Philpott, and M. Armand. “Enzyme Replacement Therapy for Pancreatic Insufficiency: Present and Future.” Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology 4 (2011): 55ñ73.
- Quinten, T., et al. “Can the Supplementation of a Digestive Enzyme Complex Offer a Solution for Common Digestive Problems?” Archives of Public Health 72, Suppl 1 (2014): 7.
- Roxas, M. “The Role of Enzyme Supplementation in Digestive Disorders.” Alternative Medicine Review 13, no. 4 (December 2008): 307-14.
HOLY BASIL (Ocimum sanctum or Tulsi)
Modern scientific research is now demonstrating its beneficial effects. Evidence suggests that Tulsi offers protective benefits against physical, environmental/chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress.
There are several methods of application for holy basil: Dried powder, a capsule containing the concentrated herb extract, tea, or tincture. A natural health physician may advise using a specific amount and a specific type of application based on individual health concerns or for preventive care. Because it is known to interact with other medications, consult with your physician before taking a Tulsi supplement. Unless under a physician’s care, do not give holy basil to an infant.
- Cohen, MM. “Tulsi – Ocimum Sanctum: A Herb for All Reasons.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 5, no. 4 (2014): 251-9. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.146554
- Duke, J.A. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press: 2002.
Prakash, P., and N. Gupta. “Therapeutic Uses of Ocimum Sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a Note on Eugenol and Its Pharmacological Actions: A Short Review.” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 49, no. 2 (2004): 125-131.
- Sumit, B., and A. Geetika. :”Therapeutic Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi) in General and Oral Medicine: A Review.” International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy 3, no. 6 (December 2012): 761-764.
SSENTIAL OILS TO REJUVENATE ENERGY LEVELS
These uses of essential oils are believed to stimulate the brain centers that are active in regulating hormones, including those that affect emotion and energy levels. The oils listed below are just a few that are recommended for boosting alertness, elevating mood, and restoring balance when you feel fatigued. Check with your wellness practitioner to see if these oils are right for you.
Energy-boosting oils can be blended or used individually. Remember, these oils are stimulating, so you would not want to use them within a few hours of going to sleep.
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) helps relieve anxiety and pent-up energy.
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has a stimulating fragrance that can boost motivation when you feel sluggish.
- Lemon/Lime (Citrus limon/Citrus aurantifolia) are energizing, cleansing scents that can help dispel worry and clear emotional confusion.
- Peppermint/Spearmint (Mentha piperita/Mentha spicata) both can awaken mental activity and help relieve fatigue. Spearmint has a sweeter, less medicinal scent than peppermint.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) helps calm anxiety and boost mental alertness.
- Essential Oils Natural Living. “Essential Oils to Boost Energy, Reduce Fatigue.“
- Mars, B., and C. Fieldler. The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. MA: Fair Winds Press: 2015.
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