Category Archives for "Benefits of Yoga"
by Allie Beckemeyer, MSc, Holistic Nutritionist
The gorgeous blooms and warmer days kissed with sunshine mark the arrival of spring! With spring comes the arrival of a new crop of seasonal produce in the markets: the verdant green of pea shoots, deep red of sweet strawberries, and delicate fragrance of dill. This transition in produce and frequency of warmer days marks the easy slip from the warming, cooked comfort dishes of winter into more raw dishes, bursting with earthy, bright, herbaceous flavors.
The best way to keep track of what is in “season” is to make a trip to your local farmers market. Chat with the farmers to see what they recommend – follow your nose, your eyes, and their passions to get the pulse on the best market buys. If they can’t stop talking about the lettuce they have this week, it might be worth trying! Expand your produce knowledge by reaching for unfamiliar varietals and asking the farmers how they might prepare them. Making the most of your trips to the farmers market will help you develop relationships with the farmers, too – they may start saving the best of the bunch for you!
One of my favorite (and easy) springtime side dishes is an herbed salad. Now, in some minds, the word “salad” may evoke images of stale salad bars with wilted iceberg lettuce and cold bacon bits, failed dieting attempts, or tasteless, boring workday lunches. If this is you, prepare to be amazed! The key to a salad done correctly, besides the dressing of course, is the combination of leaves and herbs. You can layer flavors of peppery, bitter, light and crunchy, and that is just with the leaves. Not only does a combination like this taste better, it also allows for the incorporation of a variety of nutrients. Mixed green salads have fiber that aids in digestion and detoxification, as well as key minerals like phosphorous, potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Watercress, for instance, has the important blood-clotting vitamin K (and the olive oil in the dressing helps the body absorb it!). Bitter leaves like arugula and dandelion stimulate the liver, increasing bile production, fat digestion, and more efficient absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (like the vitamin K from the watercress and vitamin A in the butter lettuce!). Cilantro helps the body detoxify heavy metals, and dill has the collagen-boosting vitamin C and folate, which supports red blood cell and DNA production. Mix your greens and herbs to enjoy a variety of health benefits in addition to greater flavor complexity.
One of my favorite salad combinations consists of butter lettuces, watercress, dandelion, cilantro, dill, and mint leaves. With a little lemon vinaigrette, this mixture is delicious, gorgeous, light and incredibly healthy! Store your herbs in glasses of water in the fridge, and keep the leaves in a plastic bag or container with plenty of air. Get creative with your herb and lettuce combinations – taste each on its own first and then create a stunning salad “bouquet”. Check out the recipe below and enjoy experimenting with your farmers markets finds!
Ingredients (serves 1):
Directions: Mix all ingredients in bowl & serve with a sandwich, vegetable omelet, or grilled fish!
Are you looking for ways to make your everyday life better? Incorporating yoga into your routine is a great way to do so. Yoga offers many benefits to individuals of all ages and lifestyles. Today, we'll share with you five ways in which regular yoga practice can make your life better:
Having anxiety is quite common, but you can take steps to lessen the anxiety that you feel. You can even fight anxiety naturally, and yoga is one exercise that can help you do just that. Mayo Clinic suggests that yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help those with chronic anxiety or depression. Taking part in yoga can allow you to live a more comfortable and happy life.
Are you looking to make positive physical changes to your body? Yoga does a lot more than increase flexibility. With repeated practice, you can improve muscle strength and tone throughout your body. This can make you stronger, but can also make you look better, too!
If you're struggling to fall asleep or feel you don't get enough sleep, you may be looking for a natural solution. Once you get into a regular yoga routine, your sleep can improve greatly. The National Yoga Foundation notes that yoga can help you fall asleep faster, sleep for longer time periods and even fall asleep more quickly after waking up in the middle of the night.
Yoga can also benefit your heart, as your blood pressure and heart rate can be lowered with regular practice. Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that yoga can help to prevent or manage heart disease. If you have a history of heart disease, it may be worth talking to a doctor about incorporating yoga into your routine.
If you're particularly hard on yourself, your negative self-thinking can carry through different parts of your life. Making changes that allow you to treat yourself well can give you a better look at life and allow you to feel more at ease. Yoga Journal suggests that yoga practice can allow you to have less judgment about your body.
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