Monday, May 18, 2015

10 Everyday Choices For A Soul-Centered, Joyous Life

the case for one sided exercise

Most bodies have tightness or pain on one side due to past injury, trauma, surgery or repetitive, poor posture.
Since the body is a master compensator, it will take the path of least resistance when it comes to movement. Over time the myofascial tissue (combination of muscle and connective tissue) will tighten, muscles will take over for other weaker ones and faulty patterns of movement will occur. This can lead to pain and/or further injury, and usually never happens in a perfect or balanced way.
To correct and balance the asymmetries resulting from faulty movement patterns, unilateral (one-sided) or asymmetrical exercises are key. Though true corrective exercise is one-sided, few people practice it — we're often taught not to perform one-sided exercise, holding the false belief they'll lead to imbalance or injury.
We think that if we do 20 reps on one side, we must do 20 reps on the other to stay balanced. This would be fine for the individual with absolutely no pain, tightness or movement restriction in his body. But this does not make sense in terms of one-sided problems.

In the case of a one sided problem, it makes more sense to correct the imbalance with exercise to one side, regaining the movement or strength needed to relieve the strain in the system. Once the system is balanced and pain and tightness subside, you can take up that balanced, bilateral routine again.
Take your yoga class for example. Almost everyone has a pose that's easier on one side, yet you force yourself to hold the pose and work both sides as equally as possible because you assume pushing yourself a little harder on the tighter side will fix the problem.
Another common misconception is that corrective exercise should be performed on the injured, tight or painful side. But think about what happens in nature to a four legged animal that injures one leg. The animal will take pressure off that leg, allowing the other uninjured limbs to take the weight and movement, until the injured leg is healed. Why do humans then insist that the way to fix a bad knee is to make that knee stronger?

What are we taught about our “bad” side? That it needs more movement, more strengthening or stretching to get better. The only cases I can think of where this might be true is the person who’s muscles have been wasted away by disuse.
Other than these extreme examples, it works more like this: Imagine what happens when you can’t open a drawer in your kitchen. If you pull harder and harder on that drawer, you are going to bust the drawer. Sometimes you need to push the drawer in the opposite direction and jiggle it a little to get it back on its track, and then it will open easily.
In other words, the movement that works to release the system is the opposite of what you think.
True, effective corrective exercises work like this. We move the body on one side, into the direction of ease first, to unlock the system. This means that we exercise the easier, pain-free side. We do this to help the system reboot and unlock. The tight or painful side heals indirectly and then when balance is restored, exercise can resume on both sides.
These ideas are radical by traditional standards. Doctors and therapists have only been learning these new ideas in the last 10-20 years. But in order to heal ourselves properly, we need to break out of our old, outdated beliefs about what we were taught, and embrace new, more effective techniques.
I’ve adopted new ways of addressing physical restriction and injury based on what works in myself and for my clients. When in doubt, I ask my clients to feel the difference. That kind of education never fails, even when it challenges decades of old habit, because the results speak for themselves.
It's crucial to find alternative forms of exercise when old, traditional ways don’t seem to work, or worse, make you hurt more. Effective corrective exercise should ease pain, decrease tightness and help speed healing. You should feel the difference, at least some small amount, in one session.

Remember: true, effective corrective exercise means that you'll probably have to perform exercises on one side of the body until balance is achieved. Healing is a dynamic, ever-changing process. Find someone who honors this process, can be the sherpa you need for the terrain that is your precious body, mind and soul, and who is willing to teach you what you need to know to help yourself.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

8 Delicious Ways To Fight Sugar Cravings By Dana James May 18, 2015 5:38 AM EDT 929 Like 89 Tweet 92 Pin it 13 Email 0 Comment You May Also Enjoy The Alkaline Diet: Myth Or Must? According to the theory behind an alkaline-based diet, consuming too much acidic food will cause an increase in the acidity (and decrease in pH) of your body, thus increasing your chances of diseases Read Oh no…the sweet treats are luring you…again! You're at your weakest at 4pm and 10pm. And, if you're honest, you give into them more than you'd like too. You've tried the dark chocolate thing…but, you know, the entire bar somehow goes in two days. You've justified cacao dusted almonds - they're just almonds with a superfood, right? And you've gone cold turkey on all sugar, including fruit, only to find yourself eating nut butter straight from the jar (it's sugar-free)! And now you think you have a nut addiction. What's a sugar-craving person to do? Think raw food! I've got eight delectable substitutions to turn off your physical cravings for sugar. 1. Green vegetable juice The most power packed of them all. Cucumbers are naturally sweet when juiced and they'll trick your taste buds into thinking you've had something sweet. If green vegetables juices are new to you, add 1/2 an apple to sweeten it. And if you don't have time to juice, pick up a cold-pressed juice on the go or, better still, keep them in your refrigerator at work and at home for when a craving strikes! 2. Vanilla chia seed pudding Make this by soaking 3 tablespoons of chia seed in 12oz of unsweetened vanilla almond milk for 15 minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon and ground vanilla bean to sweeten the pudding. Vanilla is known for decreasing sugar cravings while cinnamon helps to regulate blood glucose levels so you're not looking for another sugar hit 30 minutes later! For more ideas on chia seeds click here. 3. Coconut water with squeeze of lime Pour coconut water over ice then add a touch of lime juice. This is a refreshing option that not only abates a sugar craving but also provides hydrating potassium and mood-boasting magnesium. 4. Pear slices dipped in tahini Cut the pear into slices and serve it on plate with 1 tablespoon of tahini. Dip the pear slices into the tahini. Fruit is a simple way to cut through a sugar craving and if it's just one serving (about a cup), it won't spike your blood sugar levels. 5. Chocolate almond milk with a cinnamon stick Pour unsweetened chocolate almond milk into a glass and serve it with a cinnamon stick. This is a very low calorie option at 40 calories for 8oz. 6. Rose tea with raw honey This is ideal for a 10pm sugar craving. Making tea helps to soothe the mind while the honey gives a hint of sweetness. While some people put honey into the same category as sugar, I don’t. Raw honey is an alkaline food (sugar is acidic) and it contains enzymes and phytonutrients while sugar does not. 7. Two fresh apricots Take two fresh apricots, which are loaded with skin nourishing carotenoids, and slice them into 1/4's to serve on a plate. Be present when you eat and notice how deliciously sweet the apricots are. 8. Raw flax crackers with manuka honey Choose raw flax crackers (raw means they are gluten-free) and top them with manuka honey. The fiber in flax seeds helps to decrease the appetite while the manuka honey sweetens them and boosts the immune system. If these substitutions don't work, then your craving is likely to be emotional and driven by a desire to suppress a subconscious emotion. To learn more about this, take a look at my "How to Ditch Sugar" Video Course. Photo Credit: Shutterstock You May Also Enjoy How To Eat Right For Your Body Type Your body stores fat differently from other bodies, taking a different shape. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. It’s time to get to know your body type: Apple, Pear, Inverted Read How To Ditch Sugar (Video Course) With Dana James The Ultimate Guide To Plant-Based Nutrition (Video Course) With Rich Roll Featuring Julie Piatt 929 Like 89 Tweet 92 Pin it 13 Email 0 Comment Tags: cravings nutrition recipes sugar wellness About the Author Dana James Dana James, MS, CNS, CDN is a nutritional therapist, writer and founder of Food Coach NYC. She holds her Masters in Clinical Nutrition and is trained in nutrition biochemistry, functional medicine and cognitive behavioral therapy. She believes that food should be viewed as nourishing, joyful and fundamental to self-care. Her goal is to help women break their antagonist (and often obsessive) relationship with food and their body. She believes that true beauty stems from grace, dignity and embracing our idiosyncrasies that make us unique and imperfect. Dana created "How to Ditch Sugar" video series for mindbodygreen. Check out the program here: How to Ditch Sugar. Dana coaches one-to-one, runs workshops in NYC, and holds teleseminars on various topics that help women lead a more beautiful and balanced life. To connect more with Dana, sign-up for her Sunday evening emails. Get daily wellness inspiration straight to your inbox! Video Courses On Sale How To Attract Your Soul Mate And Discover Your Life's Purpose With John Kim On Sale Your Guide To DIY Feng Shui: Change Your Space To Change Your Life With Dana Claudat On Sale The Art Of Living With Purpose How To Achieve Goals And Transform Your Life With Rich Roll On Sale The Complete Guide To Yoga With Tara Stiles Featuring Michael Taylor On Sale Everything You Need To Know About Detoxing (And A 14-Day Guide) With Dr. Frank Lipman On Sale The Essential Guide To Meditation With Charlie Knoles On Sale How To Ditch Sugar With Dana James Related Articles The Alkaline Diet: Myth Or Must? 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Monday, May 11, 2015

5 Ways To Get Calcium Without Drinking Milk

Many Americans are confused about how to get enough calcium, believing that we need three servings a day of dairy in order to meet our recommended daily allowance of this mineral. First of all, that's not true. And secondly, who wants to drink that much milk? 
I get my calcium by loading my plate with calcium-rich foods that don’t include cow’s milk and everything that goes with it. 
If you're looking for an extra punch of calcium, here’s a shortlist of five nutrient-packed foods. Each rivals milk as a stellar source of calcium: 
  • 3 ounces tinned, drained sardines with bones — 321 mg calcium
  • 1 ounce whole roasted sesame seeds — 277 mg calcium
  • ½ cup soybean sprouts — 230 mg calcium
  • 3 ounces canned, drained salmon with bones — 212 mg calcium
  • ½ cup firm tofu cubed — 253 mg calcium
And if you'd like to up your calcium intake even more, consider adding any of the above foods to my Big Kale Salad, featured below. 
Think of this as the Margarita Pizza of salads. You can have it as is, or customize it to your mood or time of day. Built on kale (which contains 300 mg of calcium in three cups and has a calcium absorption rate of 50% as compared to milk’s 32%), and chia seeds, which boast about 175 mg of calcium per ounce or two tablespoons, it will start you off on firm ground. (Not sure how to use chia seeds? Start here.) 
But don’t be shy to experiment. Today, have it for dinner with some fish for a hit of protein, vitamin D, and umami. Tomorrow, enjoy it for lunch with sprouts for extra bursts of crunch.
Big Kale SaladServes 1
  • 1 medium-size roasted beet (3½ ounces raw), cut into wedges
  • 3 cups raw chopped kale
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground oregano
  • 1 small carrot (2 ounces), washed, scrubbed, and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • ½ small zucchini (2 ounces), washed and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, dill, or a mixture of the two
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw or roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini lemon dressing (p. 214) or herb vinaigrette (p. 215)
  • Preparation
    1. Wash the kale; cut off the stems and set them aside. 
    2. Cut the raw kale leaves into half-inch strips and transfer to a medium-to-large serving bowl. 
    3. Add the sea salt, dried basil, and oregano, and rub into the kale until the kale begins to break down. It will turn from pale green to darker green and begin to release some of its water. 
    4. Cut the kale stems into thin slices and add to the serving bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except the chia seeds and toss. 
    5. Sprinkle the chia seeds on top. 
    Serve with dressing of choice (see recipes for tahini lemon dressing and herb vinaigrette that follow), a handful of raw or toasted pumpkin seeds, and a scoop of white bean hummus. 
    Each undressed salad with roasted beets contains 675 mg of calcium, 20 grams of protein, and 306 calories. 
    Tahini Lemon DressingMakes 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons (27 tablespoons total)
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    • ¾ cup water
    • ¾ cup tahini
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand blender, blend on a low setting until smooth. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. 
    Each 2-tablespoon serving contains 53 mg of calcium, 2 grams of protein, and 69 calories.
    Photo Credit: Shutterstock
    courtesy of

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