HolisticGoddess

Holistic lifestyle, healthy eating, yoga, & Life!


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Let’s Talk TURMERIC!

 

 

Not only has Turmeric  been used as the Motherload of Spices, but also a healing remedy or textile dye. Turmeric is native to Indonesia and India for more than 5,000 years! The flavor resembles a peppery taste, bittersweet, with a mild scent reminiscent of ginger to which its related. Turmeric is mostly used as one of the ingredients used to make curry powder.

 

Turmeric contains a unique phytonutrient curcumin, which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to promote optimal liver function. Turmeric is also rich in minerals such as iron and manganese…..not to mention, it’s low in calories! 2 teaspoons contains around 16 calories.

 

Usually, you can find fresh Turmeric in the refrigerated section of your local market, but most of the time,  I’ll just purchase mine in powder form in the spice section. Turmeric powder however, should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place where it will keep fresh for about 6 months. Fresh Turmeric should be kept in the refrigerator. Since Turmeric is used as a dye in some places, be careful when using it as it can easily stain things, including clothes and counter surfaces.

Ways To Enjoy Turmeric

1. You can use it in salad dressings to give it a boost of extra nutritional value and add some color to it.

2. Add Turmeric to egg salad for even bolder yellow color and extra nutrition.

3. Mix some in with brown rice or pastas.

4. Turmeric is a great spice to compliment the taste of legumes such as lentils and or steamed vegetables.

 

Turmeric health benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammatory protection
  • Promotes joint health
  • Promotes liver detoxification
  • Promotes heart health
  • The curcumin found in Turmeric is said to block an enzyme that promotes head & neck cancer
  • Relieves arthritis
  • Controls diabetes
  • Heals wounds
  • Improves digestion

 

 

 

Additional benefits from Turmeric include a concentrated source of heart-healthy dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, energy-producing Iron, and free-radical scavenging Manganese. So not only does it turn any meal into a tasty, spicy plethora of nutritional goodness, but also good to keep on-hand for most natural home remedies, salves and teas for example.

 

No spice cabinet is complete without the goodness of Turmeric! 🙂


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YOGI TEA

 

Yogi Tea also known as Chai tea is a vital part of yogic lifestyle.  It aids digestive health, strengthens the nervous system, purifies the blood and boost immunity.  It cleanses the liver and lungs and has even more multiple benefits. Drink this tea everyday day for optimal health! 

 

Ingredients for 1 cup of Yogi Tea:

10 oz water
1/2 stick of cinnamon
3 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
4 whole cardamom pods (split the pods first)
1 slice ginger- 1 inch thick
1- 2 tea bags of black tea bags
Soy Milk or Almond Milk
Honey to sweeten

 

Preparation:

Boil the spices in the water for 15 minutes
Add black tea and steep for 2-3 minutes
Add milk and heat again on the stove to a boil
Add the honey to sweeten

 

ENJOY! 🙂

 

*The black tea is necessary, nothing can be replaced by it. The black tea acts as a stimulant to make all the other ingredients work to it’s maximum


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New Moon + New Changes = New Beginnings

On the New Moon, Sunday March 30, 2014, I went from this:

 

To this:

 

Yes folks, I took the plunge and cut off my 9 year old locs! (dreadlocs) Through our times together, my locs and I have been through many, many stages of evolution, both emotional as well as spiritual.  The New Moon represents, starting over & new beginnings, and now was the  perfect time to release them and start a new hair chapter.

What are you gonna do now, you ask?

Well, I plan to enjoy taking only 2 mins. to wash my hair instead of 30, lol! And since summer’s coming, this would be a perfect time to not have a blanket of hair around my neck.

I DO plan to start another set of locs eventually, but for now, I’ll just let it grow out and enjoy my fro for awhile! Some people have asked me “OMG! Why did you cut off your hair??”

 

I say “Why not?” 😀


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3 Ways to Cultivate and Keep a Home Yoga Practice

Here’s a short, but informative article on starting….and continuing a home yoga practice. 🙂

 

By Coraley Letcher

3 Ways to Cultivate and Keep a Home Yoga Practice

Starting a home practice can be a daunting task. When I talk to students about starting a home practice, the same topics keep coming up: They don’t have the space or the time, they’ve tried but can’t stick with it or when they try, they don’t end up doing the type of practice they would like to. A home practice can teach you to follow your intuition and how to listen to your body. It will teach you to make time for yourself and it will allow you to reap the benefits daily practice can bring.

Below are my top three tips for starting and keeping, a home practice:

1. Keep a journal, calendar, or both.  

Why? It keeps you accountable. By writing on your calendar that you are practicing that night, you’ll motivate yourself to practice so as to avoid staring at your missed commitment the following day. A missed practice can be a big kick in the pants.

I keep my journal on a shelf in my home practice space. When I was working on incorporating consistent practice into my life, having the journal there always got me to go to my practice area, even if I had told myself I didn’t have time, or was too tired to practice. No matter what, I could always convince myself that I had time to jot down what I was feeling in my journal. After a few instances of writing but not practicing, it started to feel ridiculous to be there and not practice. One new habit fed the other.

I have both a calendar and a health journal. I check my practice off on my calendar when I’ve completed it, and I write in the journal even if I don’t do a practice. Both keep me accountable and motivated.

2. Release your expectations. All of them.

Don’t worry about having the “perfect” space to practice. Don’t worry about how much time you were able to spend on your practice on any given day, and definitely don’t worry about the kind of practice you decide to do. Find a spot that’s big enough to roll out your mat and start there. If it helps, you can set up a special space where you can keep your yoga stuff. Try setting up an alter, but don’t let an imagined need for such a space keep you from starting your practice today….


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Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose)

shah-VAHS-anna)sava = corpse

This pose is also called Mrtasana (pronounced mrit-TAHS-anna, mrta = death)

 

Savasana is a pose of just total relaxation. It can actually be one of the most challenging of yoga poses because you are lying totally still. But it is also perhaps the most important part of a yoga practice. It serves many purposes: physical, spiritual and philosophical.

All of the practices that we do in Yoga, from the Pranayama or breathing exercises, to the physical practice, to the end at Savasana…..is all a metaphor for Life. When we begin, we are focusing on our Breath, the Beginning of Life, our birth into this world. Just like when a baby is born, the first thing they all learn to do is to breathe in air outside the womb, breathing into our belly….this is what makes the first part of the physical yoga practice.

Then we come to the second part, which is the actual body movement, the challenging poses, and balance. This represents our teen and adult years when Life becomes more challenging, requiring more out of you, to push yourself to the limit, and even then….a little further.

Then finally we come full circle, to the completion of  Life which we will all have to enter someday….Savasana. This represents the End and yet it can also represent the Beginning, when we once again come back to the Breath and become reborn fully refreshed and once again, ready for the outside world. When you begin to look at Yoga in that sense, your practice becomes more meaningful and the poses more positive.

 

 

After the exertions of the practice, Savasana allows the body a chance to regroup and reset itself. After a balanced practice, the entire body will have been stretched, contracted, twisted and inverted. These means that even the deepest muscles will have the opportunity to let go and shed their regular habits, if only for a few minutes.

Furthermore, the physiological benefits of deep relaxation are numerous and include:

  • A decrease in heart rate & rate of respiration
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Significantly lowers muscle tension
  • Reduces general anxiety
  • A reduction in the number and frequency of panic attacks
  • Provides an increase in energy levels
  • Increases focus and concentration
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Creates deeper and sounder sleep
  • Improves self-confidence

 

Savasana provides a perfect time for inner focus an integration. After so much time being bound to the actions of the body, the practitioner’s awareness is hopefully turned inwards and purified of sensory distraction. Savasana then becomes the beginning of deeper, meditative yogic practices. In state of sensory withdrawal it becomes easier to be aware of the breath and of the state of the mind itself. Savasana also gives the nervous system a chance to integrate that in what can be thought of as a brief pause before coming back to everyday Life.

 

There are different variations to achieving Savasana:

  • Lying flat with a folded blanket or small pillow under the head

Corpse pose

  • Placing a pillow or bolster under the knees. This position is perfect for those with back or knee issues or pregnant women.

  • Legs propped up on a chair with blanket under the hips

  • A folded blanket under the back

 

Which ever variation you choose, make sure you body is fully supported in a way that fits you so that you can be able to completely enjoy the meditative and restorative experience that Savasana has to offer. Softly begin to close your eyes, refocus on the breath, slowly deepening as you progress, and relax and allow the Earth to support you. Savasana can be performed anywhere between 2-7 mins. is sufficient time to allow the body time to restore and integrate all the energy that has been raised.

 

Remember to just breathe…….and let go. 🙂

 

 

 

 


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Let’s talk EGGPLANT!

Is it an egg? Or is it a plant? 😀

Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. While different varieties of Eggplant can vary slightly in taste and texture, they can generally be described as having a  bit of a bitter taste and spongy texture. It’s that unique texture that makes Eggplant a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different types of recipes.

Eggplant also comes in a variety of colors ranging from lavender, to jade green, orange and yellow…and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Eggplant is a great source of Potassium, Dietary fiber, Copper, B1 Thiamin, Manganese, and Beta Carotene. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that it contains, Eggplant’s health-promoting properties are also provided by an anthocyanin called nasunin; this phytonutrient provides protection from oxidative damage to cellular structures and also provides Eggplant with its deep rich color and flavor.

You can find Eggplant pretty much all year round. Usually, its peak season runs from August through October. From what I’ve researched, these are the months when its concentration of nutrients and flavor are the highest.

And of course, I can’t leave without providing you all with one of my simple recipes for this beautiful vegetable! For a quick snack, you can make Eggplant Mini-Pizzas:

1 Large Eggplant

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup of pasta sauce

4 oz of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

 

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut Eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds

Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, & garlic powder

Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet, and place in oven for about 7 min. or until tender.

Top Eggplant with pasta sauce & Mozzarella cheese

Continue to bake slices until cheese is melted. Serving size: 2

Enjoy! 🙂