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Wednesday
Jun112014

Video: Fat Absorption by the Liver

Hey Liver - are you doing your job? In order for our Liver to function properly, it needs to be clean. In this short video, Wellness expert and Pravassa founder, Linden Schaffer, discusses the Liver’s role amidst our complex digestive system and gives simple solutions to keep it in optimal detox mode.

This video was originally shared on Livestrong.com

Wednesday
Jun042014

5 Ways to Make Your Road Trip A Healthy Adventure

image viaSummer has finally shown up, and you may be getting the itch to jump in the car and go exploring. With blue skies, a great playlist, and the open road ahead, just the thought of a road trip can bring a smile to your face. Yet with all the sitting and road sign after road sign for fast food ahead, how can you possibly stay healthy for days on end? Try these manageable tips to keep you and your traveling companions happy and healthy:

1. Get a good night’s sleep.
Part of being on vacation is the luxury of not having a set schedule. This is the perfect time to let your circadian rhythm readjust and give yourself permission to go to bed early or sleep in. By allowing yourself proper rest, you’ll avoid driving drowsy, which helps prevent car accidents and maintains your alertness on the road.

2. Map out healthy restaurants and farmers markets along your route.
If you know your route in advance or have access to a good WiFi connection, take some time to search out healthy restaurants or local farmers markets along the way. There are several websites out there that make it super easy to find locally grown and organic options. With the sustainable food movement continuing to spread, spend some time talking with local vendors, as they’ll have insider tips that you might not be able to find online.

3. Pack a cooler.
Buy extra goodies at the farmers market so you can stock up on healthy snacks like ripe peaches, hand roasted nuts, or local yogurt. Then, during your next stop at the gas station, stock up on ice for the cooler instead of typical salty and sugary road trip fare.

4. Stop and explore.
Sitting in the car can lead to lower backaches and stiff legs, so it’s important to get out of the car and move your body restoring blood flow. Half the fun of road tripping is stopping to explore a new area. Bring your sneakers and go for a hike, or find a beautiful park and practice some yoga moves.

5. Be a water baby. 
Whether you book a hotel, motel, or a house rental along your road trip route, try and seek out one with a pool or nearby lake to take a dip. Summer is the perfect time to cool off in outdoor waters and has the added benefit of helping stiff, weak muscles recover. If you’re lucky enough to find a heated pool or Jacuzzi, the warm water helps to aid digestion and promote relaxation, which was the point of your road trip in the first place!- Linden Schaffer

This article was written for and originally published on wellness website MindBodyGreen.

 

Tuesday
Jun032014

Well on the Road: Corinne Trang

Our Travel Tuesday series cozies up to fabulous entrepreneurs who spend countless hours away from home in the name of their passion. Here we asked them to share some of their secrets for staying well on the road.

Corinne Trang | The Yoga of Food

Corinne Trang
Founder The Yoga of Food
Most recently in: Brazil & Canada

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is...Trail mix of raw nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are my go-to’s.

Tell us your in-flight rituals.
You can always find me doing yoga in my seat. If I’m traveling on a 747 internationally, I’ll head to the upper deck and roll out my yoga mat in the exit aisle. 

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? 
I continue my day at whatever time I land (if it's morning I have breakfast and get my day started or night I have dinner and go to bed). I make sure to get a workout in even if I'm tired. And I just tell myself that jet lag can wait for when I get home!

Which fitness icon best describes your 'workout on the road' style?

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None… for me it’s all about yoga. I have a daily Mysore Ashtanga practice that happens in my hotel room. 

How do you keep sickness at bay?
As a chef, I’m always on the look out for ways to enjoy local healthy foods. By sticking to light meals and drinking green tea I’m able to keep my body balanced and healthy.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? 
Salad and some kind of noodle dish. 

Corinne capturing the beauty of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

What do you do to stay grounded?
As you may have noticed, my yoga is dear and keeps me grounded. Combine that practice with meditation every morning and a hot bath at night, and I feel connected to myself.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? 
Generally when I'm away, I'm away. In other words, I let people know that I'll be in touch when I return. I might send a card, but rarely.

Follow the footsteps of this award-winning cookbook author, holistic health counselor, Ayurveda nutritionist, and wellness coach via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch for Corinne's upcoming book,"Switch-It-Up: 50 Recipes for Perfectly Portioned Meals for Prediabetes, Diabetes, and Heart Health" due late summer/early fall 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.

 

Wednesday
May282014

Ways to Give Back in a World Without Money

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The dawning of spring and subsequent theme of rebirth always have a way of nudging me to reevaluate my life: my choices, my actions, who I am as a person. I've realized that my life is, well, mostly about me. As a young adult, I've been focused, if not obsessed, on budgeting my time, developing my nascent career, and steering a tight ship through the choppy waters of my uncertain future. Age aside, so many of us are consumed with day-to-day affairs and planning for what is yet to be. Maybe it's time we look beyond our homes, jobs, and tiny worlds for the answers to what is lacking in our lives. A place where there is a community in need of contributors. A place that can only grow by the love and participation of good people.

 

Ways to give back and feel rich without spending or receiving a dime:

Strut your skills. Teach your talent. One of the most beautiful parts about being human is that we are all unique, each with our own perfect flaws, idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses. And because this diversity exists, we all are born with a special knowledge or insight and the opportunity to share it with others. Are you good at something that others seem to struggle with? Do you have a passion or a hobby that other people seem interested in? Brooklyn street artist, RAE, recently lived this ethos in Ethiopia where he helped school children turn art into proceeds for the Alemu Woldehanna Community Library. Find your talent and get creative! You could host a free class at your home, a cozy restaurant or in a public park. An organization in Atlanta called the Atlanta Free School hosts free daily classes on myriad subjects. Everyone can teach and everyone can learn. See if something similar exists in your neck of the woods. If not, start one.

Fill bellies. Feed souls. There may be no better way to nurture the soul than to provide someone with a warm, delicious meal. You can take a hand-on approach, joining the ranks of groups like Food Not Bombs, and directly contribute to foraging, cooking, and sharing meals with the hungry, you can volunteer at your local soup kitchen, or with an organization that distributes meals weekly in public places. Dine at a restaurant like Café 458, where all the workers are volunteers and all the proceeds (and tips) go directly to programs and services aiding the homeless. Whether you are volunteering to feed the homeless or simply sharing a feast with your friends, filling bellies feeds souls, and everyone deserves to go to sleep full.

Offer a free service. In our modern-day world of capitalism and consumerism, the exchange of money for goods and services seems to be a never-ending transaction. "Time is money" is an oft-repeated phrase. Let's reinvent the concept of doing random acts of kindness before it becomes an obsolete one. Offer childcare services for a busy family, tutor a student, clean for an elderly couple. Offer a ride to your coworkers, do yard work for your neighbors, send snail mail to a soldier, or give an hour of good conversation to someone in need of a friend.

Get your hands dirty. If you've ever been interested in working on an organic farm, now is the perfect time to learn. Sustainable agriculture is a growing movement and there are a variety of services that match volunteers looking to work and learn with farmers in need of little help. In exchange for a few hours of work a day, the host farm provides a free meal, a place to stay, and the opportunity to learn the ropes of rural life and the local lifestyle of a new community. Organizations like WWOOF and Workaway are great places to start, and each lists farms, gardens, and projects in almost every country in the world. Spend half a day at a local farm or half a year in a foreign country. Leave dirtier, heartier, happier.

Use the Internet for good: Many of us would love to volunteer, but can't find the time because of demanding, jam-packed schedules. Yet, we all find time, sometimes hours a day, for the Internet. Using Sparked.com, online volunteering for busy people, you can peruse a list of nonprofits and help them overcome their challenges based on your interests and skills. Copywriters, graphic designers, techies, social media buffs, and researchers wanted. It's a great way to volunteer digitally and to break up the monotony of email-checking and web-browsing. Instead of being sucked down the Internet vortex that often leads to Buzzfeed, channel your cyber savvy towards the betterment of your community. - J.S.

 

Josalin Saffer lays her roots in Atlanta, Ga, where she received her B.A. in Journalism. She spent the last year living and working as an English teacher in Thailand and exploring Southeast Asia with a heavy pack and an open mind. She stayed in two remote villages working on organic farms and learning permaculture, cooking, and natural healing practices from the locals. These experiences, among other untold adventures, inspired her blog, which she faithfully filled with reflections, tribulations, and revelations she had along the way. She discovered the transformative power of yoga in college when taking a beginner course for school credit that forever changed the way she walks through life. Yoga has since been her most trusted elixir for balancing a healthy mind, body, and spirit. She also wholeheartedly believes that there is nothing a handful of raw garlic cloves can't cure.

Tuesday
May202014

Well on the Road: Hana James

Our Travel Tuesday series cozies up to fabulous entrepreneurs who spend countless hours away from home in the name of their passion. Here we asked them to share some of their secrets for staying well on the road.

Hana James | Greenhouse Juice Co. (Toronto, Canada)

Hana James
Co-Founder Greenhouse Juice Co.
Most recently in: Spain, Thailand & Singapore 

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is... Homemade roasted pumpkin seeds. The easiest snack to prep at home and so satisfying!

Tell us your in-flight rituals.
I always make sure to have at least 1.5L (or more) of water. I put on a movie or my favorite cd and close my eyes. I can sleep pretty much anywhere so I use my flights to catch up on much needed rest! If I'm not sleeping I try and walk around the plane a couple times just to keep my blood moving.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? 
I continue my day at whatever time I land (if it's morning I have breakfast and get my day started or night I have dinner and go to bed). I make sure to get a workout in even if I'm tired. And I just tell myself that jet lag can wait for when I get home!

Which fitness icon best describes your 'workout on the road' style?

image via

A hybrid of Bear Grylls and Jenner. I like to mix up my workout by getting outdoors as much as possible and utilizing whatever landscape I am visiting.

How do you keep sickness at bay?
I take at least one Greenhouse Juice Co. Flu Shot per flight! I always travel with vitamin C, echinacea and oil of oregano in case I feel something coming on when I'm away.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? 
I love sampling local produce and products that I may not normally get in Toronto, so I will often go for the daily seasonal special (whether it is the daily catch, meat or a vegetarian option).

Hana on her latest trip to Spain

What do you do to stay grounded?
Meditation always helps. During my recent trip to Spain I did a four-day silent meditation retreat, which was amazing. Even if I'm not doing a full retreat I try to meditate every day (even if only for 15 minutes) to help me stay present and really enjoy my time away.



What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? 
I like email. This way I'm not constantly messaging while I'm away but I can still give my favorites updates about what I am up to. And of course I love my occasional Instagram post!

Say hi to Hana and the Greenhouse Juice Co. team at their Toronto, Ontario, Canada storefront in Yonge and Summer Hill. Follow their raw, organic and all around good-vibed actions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram