We often association Spring with cleaning our homes. But what about Spring cleaning what we put into our bodies for fuel?
Choosing the right foods for ourselves and our families can be overwhelming. As a yoga teacher, wife and a mother of three children, I truly believe that food can be live medicine. It can also be poison.
If you or your family get sick frequently, experience multiple sinus issues, ear and/or bronchial infections or influenzas per year, or if your digestive tract is sensitive and irregularity is the norm, food could be the problem.
Food could be hindering your optimal immune system function. This happens when we eat processed foods, chemically treated fruits and veggies, eggs and meats with added hormones and antibiotics, and over-consume dairy and gluten products.
I’ve watched my own children transform from having chronic asthma with its complications, to kids that seldom gets sick. If they do get a cold, it’s mild. They recover quickly and without medical intervention. We made modifications in our diet that focused on removing food toxins that tax the internal organs and the digestive tract, which naturally caused our immune systems to improve. Studies indicate that germs don’t make us sick, weakened immune systems do.
The processed foods we put in our bodies are a direct stressor. If we are having difficulty losing belly fat, are anxious, depressed, or battling fatigue, experiencing fibromyalgia, losing sleep, or lacking a sex drive — these are all symptoms of dis-ease in the body.
Here’s how you can begin to reduce food toxins in 30 days.
- Reduce all dairy products and switch to organic milk. Crooked Creek Farms is in Romeo, Michigan they don’t use rBST/rBGH (hormones). You can buy their milk at Vince and Joe’s (25 Mile and Van Dyke), Randazzo Fresh Market (Hayes Rd. north of 22 Mile). Kroger carries an organic milk also. The taste of the clean milk is amazing. Try supplementing with almond milk or rice milk, especially for children with eczema. Do not drink large amounts of soy milk as it elevates estrogen in girls and women and studies have found that it contributes to breast cancer in some women.
- Any fruits and veggies that you eat regularly, salads, cucumber, apples, etc. buy organic. Minimally, try to buy organic for those foods found on the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides and fertilizers. Reducing the amount of artificial pesticides and fertilizers in our diet directly affects our internal organs.
- Eat organic or at least free range eggs by chickens fed veggies or grain, not animal byproducts. Happy, healthy chickens, lay healthy eggs. Remember, a few eggs a week are not causing high cholesterol. Eggs are a perfect protein and are easily digested.
- Reduce or eliminate store bought salad dressings. They are high in sugar, fat, preservatives, salt, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup. Make one easily. Use ¼ cup olive oil, fresh lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, sea salt, pepper and a dash of dry mustard, mix it up in the bottom of your salad bowl, throw in your veggies, feta cheese or grated parmesan, a few croutons and toss.
- Consume meats without chemicals, free range Amish chicken and wild caught fish, (no farm raised fish, they have antibiotics and hormones added.)
- Carbs…only the ones coming from the earth, potato, sweet potato, cooked carrots, squash. Basmati or black rice are the best rice products; sauté in butter or olive oil with onions, garlic, celery add mushrooms, salt and pepper a splash of soy or zip sauce to taste. Carbs like bread, and pasta occasionally, after the first 30 days.
- Add high fiber milled flaxseed to everything, smoothies, soups/sauces, and veggie dip. Fiber acts as an internal scrub brush, cleansing the intestinal tract, and it encourages the body to absorb more nutrients from our foods.
- Get rid of the margarine. Use organic butter, or regular unsalted butter. Unsalted butter is the highest quality of the milk fat. In ancient times milk and butter were considered healing agents. Refined butter (ghee) is still used in India today. But over consumption of milk can increase mucus and inflammation which can aggravate asthmatics. Olive oil and avocados are good fats & we need them.
- 8 oz. of red wine daily…measure it out, and don’t go back for more. One piece of dark chocolate daily J, together they are delish!
- Nap, if you are tired during the day, lay down for 30-60 minutes. Nutrition gives us energy to sleep, by secreting the necessary hormones to do so. Napping resets our sleep rhythm, so that we many sleep better at night.
What are the immediate benefits of eating healthy?
Reduction of stress, increased self-esteem, elimination of anxiety and depression. The body and mind have more energy, we naturally improve our sleep patterns, our sex drive, our endocrine function. We’ve found these choices increase the grocery bill only by $10-$20 a week, but it eliminated our office visit of $75-$150 per month.
We still may need medical doctors. Modern medicine is the greatest blessing of our time. But the point is to not need it. Prevention is much easier and better for us than the medicine.
People say they don’t have time or money to do these things. I’ve found by doing them you will actually have more time and energy. You will feel better. Try these suggestions for just 30 days and see if you don’t feel better, look better, sleep better.
Let us know how you do! For additional related information, google Diana Schwarzbein, MD.
The information contained in this website is merely intended to communicate material which is helpful and educational to the reader. It is not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment, but rather to provide information and recipes which may be helpful in implementing a diet and program prescribed by your doctor. Please consult your physician for medical advice before changing your diet.
There are no warranties which extend beyond the educational nature of this website. Therefore, we shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person with respect to any loss or damage alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this post.
What feels better than loving your work-out, really achieving results, and feeling better before, during, and after your practice. It is truly what brings me back to my mat over and over, and continuously renews my love for life. I have studied and practiced yoga for 20 years now. I have never been happier or healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually than during these 20 years of study. Yoga is a mental and physical practice that will improve and cure the mind of life’s aversions and afflictions, instilling peace, tranquility and deep calm if practiced regularly. Yoga actually took over my life time gym membership. I don’t remember ever not exercising, because I just love it.
As an avid athlete in my teens/twenties I accumulated injuries from gymnastics, water & snow skiing, in-line skating, kick-boxing and high-heels that left me now achy ankles, knees, hip and low back. Even my yoga asana practice was becoming a challenge, one that left me sore and achy. Arthritis was setting in, weakening the joints and causing chronic pain. My core strength was suffering because of 3 pregnancies in 4 years. I was sick from NSAIDs, physical therapy was not helping, and I didn’t like the thought of pain-killers, cortizone injections, hip or knee replacement (not yet, way too young). I seriously feared for another 40 years of suffering in this body that I had pretty much destroyed in the first 30. But the solution has been the precise mixture of yoga, pilates, and traditional ballet.
This is the ultimate combination of 3 disciplines honoring the body/mind/spirit to heal and strengthen naturally though movement. You don’t have to have ever had a class in any of the the three, don’t be intimidated. Although it isn’t easy, it is simple. Equipment requirements: a yoga mat, light wrist and ankle weights, the back of a chair. The real medicine, the real beauty is in the specific choreographed sequences, that targets core strenght from the knees to the solarplexis. We use pilates to deeply strengthen the core, the body as a free-weight creating long beautiful yoga poses, ballet technique ,and integrated weights to further sculpt and strengthen the shoulders, arms, booty and legs. These specific sequences are also naturally a pain-reliever. Strengthening creates a natural anti-inflamatory for the body that relieves pain and swelling while burning up to 600 calories per session increasing muscle density and mass.
This practice is universally good for women and men who either want to strengthen, lengthen and define their already atheletic bodies, like runners, or distance walkers, weight lifters. Or to an individual getting back into a fitness regime, post pregnancy, recovering from illness, injury or surgery.
Lisa Tokarz, ERYT200 and founding director of the Yoga Studio of Shelby has worked in the fitness industry for 20 years. She is a graduate of Walsh College of Accountancy and also worked in the financial markets during the great bull markets of the 1990′s training executives in market data and IT. Her family lead her further down the path of fitness through the discovery of yoga, which fulfilled a hunger never quite fed through other adventures. Lisa has studied with the foremost teacher’s from around the world including His Holiness the Dali Lama, John Friend, Sharon & David, and Sri K. Pattabis Jois. She has incorporated these teachings in all areas of her life with joy and success and wishes to share her knowldege during a time when healthcare and related costs are at an all time high crisis level.
Check out her classes, Tuesday through Sunday at The Yoga Studio of Shelby. Located on Van Dyke Ave. north of 21 Mile Rd. Shelby Springs Plaza. Click on Classes/Class Schedule for the complete schedule of classes. Namaste’
Our yoga teacher’s will be downtown at the Compuware campus, studying with Anusara’s Founding Master, John Friend the weekend of March 19-20, 2011. Our teacher’s are required to study advance continuing education every year to keep their credential’s and knowledge cutting edge. Please join us at The Yoga Studio to get the most out of your yoga practice as we bring you the evolution of yoga asana based on the Universal Principles of Alignment. Yoga to heal your body, mind and spirit. Peace.
Eight Limbs of Yoga
Yama (Self-Control: how to treat and care for others)
Ahimsa (Non-Violence: protecting all living beings, making life safe for others, practicing kindness, consideration)
Satya (Truthfulness: think before you speak, remain silent if the truth would hurt, do not speak unnecessarily)
Asteya (Non-Stealing: do not take what does not belong to you, do not waste another’s time, do not tell confidential information, save on non-renewable energy)
Bramacharya (Mastering Relationships: form relationships based on understanding, respect others relationships, practice moderation and self-control)
Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness: take only what is necessary, let go of attachments to things, don’t hoard, don’t be greedy, give away what you no longer use)
Niyama (Commitments: how to treat and care for ourselves)
Saucha (Cleanliness: keeping your environment clean, eat healthy, encourage positive thinking)
Santosha (Contentment: be grateful and happy with what you have and who you are, realize everyone has struggles and accept and move through difficult situations with grace)
Tapas (Daily Practice: keep the body fit on a daily basis, eat only when hungry, regularly pay attention to breath)
Svadhayaya (Daily Study: read something inspirational, become centered, get to know yourself better)
Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender to Higher Power: let go of false sense of control, become attuned to God’s will)
Asana (Physical Poses: move the body everyday to improve strength, balance and flexibility)
Pranayama (Breath Control: to cleanse, strengthen, increase energy and improve health)
Pratyahara (Withdraw From External: letting go of outer distractions, turning inward)
Dharana (Focus: concentration, train the mind to focus without distraction)
Dhyana (Fixation: uninterrupted flow of concentration to see the Truth)
Samadhi (Perfect Meditation: Begin to see your life improve, imbued with more love and deeper connections to yourself, your loved-ones and ultimately all humanity)
On Thanksgiving morning I was reminded of the sadness and dispair that still exists in everyday life. In between the publications of our beautiful parades and treasured football games and in anticipaton of our excessive yet greatly appreciated meal was an equal reminder of the pain many of us suffer through the Holidays. Through the repetitive commercials on depression and anxiety and the promise that perscription drugs will fix the problem. Couple that with the list of possible side-effects ranging from sexual side-effects, blood disorders, abnormal bleeding, seizures, lymphoma, thoughts of suicide and death as a possible result . I decided to research the statistics and found alarmingly that depression accounts for roughly 18% of our country’s chronic diseases, and that it would be the 2nd most common dis-ease GLOBALLY. I also learned that anti-depressants, much like anti-biotics aren’t working as well, thus the doubling of drugs to help bridge that gap the anti-depressants miss. I am not negating the need for anti-depressants through this post, I know many people who have had positive results, and many more who have not. Just simply pointing out that these should not be viewed as a life-long solution. (Can you imagine taking mind altering drugs for the rest of our lives? That makes me sad.) We suggest lifestyle changes for the long term solution.
So what are the options, where do we start? Wait for it……. Change your insides, and begin to see improvement over the next 6 weeks. By the introduction of specific thoughts that change our body chemistry. Did you know that our thoughts cause our bodies to secrete hormones, we can’t help it. If you change your thoughts, you change your body chemistry, you can’t even stop it from happening. And it happens immediately. Certain behaviors change us, too. And that’s a FACT. I remember when my yoga teacher, Michael Johnson, began talking to me about these ideas years ago. I truly thought, “PLEASE tell me the thoughts to think, teach me the behaviors. I’m in!” The deepest transformation of my life began…..and absolutely NO HARMFUL side-effects(affects). Just a natural Bliss and Peace that ran to the core of my body, and eventually became my natural state of mind. Oh yes, plus the sore muscles (that were more lean and defined) from deepening my yoga practice, reminding me I was not only getting happier, but healthier inside and out. My own waves of panic and anxiety began to lift, replaced by moments of happines, love and joy so intense, it would scare me sometimes…lol
Begin a yoga practice with a qualified teacher, and the beauty is, with committed and balanced effort it just starts happening, naturally. Everyone is now contemplating the New Year, the start of something new…rather than giving up something this 2011, add something instead. Add the element of lightening-up. Get rid of anxiety and depression (it’s a symptom not a disease) by taking control of your mind.
Start with this: Begin to contemplate Love and Kindness towards yourself and others. Think of how much you really love your life, even if there is sadness or struggle. Think of how much we love our families, friends and community. Think of how we would all like to see more kindness in the world. Then, rather than waiting for more love and kindness to come to you, be the lovingest kindest one. Even if you are faking it a little at first, shovel it out to everyone, especially yourself. Cut some slack, see perfection in imperfection…take time for yourself. Take a yoga class at The Yoga Studio in Shelby Twp., or any of the amazing studio’s on the east-side, Santosha Yoga (Chesterfield), Bodhi Seed (Mt. Clemens), Body Mind Studio (Richmond), and the west-side’s Red Lotus Yoga and the new Yoga Planet (near The Village). We are all here to change the face of anxiety and depression, to irradicate it, to make it a thing of the past..NATURALLY
Lisa Tokarz, ERYT200 and Founding Director of The Yoga Studio of Shelby has been a constant dedicated student of yoga and Dharma for 18 years. She has 5,000 hours of teaching experience that extends over a 10 year career as a yoga teacher and life coach. Her playful, uplifting and sometimes silly spirit teaches her students that REAL happiness exists inside all of us. “We learn how to groom and nurture our mind and body from the inside out, like a gardener tends to a field, he prepares the soil, that is where the richest transformation comes from. We cannot continue to live the way we are, hoping to change the outside and ignoring or medicating the inside, it simply doesn’t work that way,” says Lisa, “and that’s a FACT.” Peace
People are flocking to Yoga Centers across the globe to received the infinite healing benefits of a yoga practice. Yet very few really understand how yoga really works. It’s not just the poses, it’s not just the breathing. In fact, those two aspects account for a small percentage of the practice. Our westernization of the “science” has sadly diluted the maximum benefits people can acheive through a skilled yoga practice. We’ve tried the yoga in a hot room of 108 degrees, “doing” yoga to loud music. Competing with our mat neighbor or our EGO. Basically, we try really hard to, not DO Yoga. I’m sure Master Patanjali is rolling over in his precious grave…..
The foundation of a strong Yoga Practice is rooted in ethical living. Which isn’t a set of rules and regulations designed to make us feel inadequate. And not turning into a “goody-goody”, or a bore. But rooted in “karma”. “What goes around, comes around…” With corporate greed, competition, clever marketing, unethical but legal practices and the fear that there somehow isn’t enough for everyone as the basis of every personal and professional decision we make, it is very difficult to understand that ethical living could be the root of your personal and professional success. Just Behave, what a novel idea…how amazing would it be to fall asleep every night knowing, (not just hoping) that what you did today would shape and change your future for the better, guaranteed.
Stop buying into the belief that we are not Enough. Watching TV, combing the internet, reading newspapers, listening to radio, we are bombarded with the the messages that we aren’t enough. We aren’t shiny enough, tall enough, thin enough, long enough, thick enough, young enough, wrinkle-less enough, tone enough, rich enough, successfull enough, funny enough, dressed enough, stylish enough, fast enough, petite enough, wise enough, calm enough, energized enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, hairy enough, too hairy, too fat, too short, too tall…..My Goodness did God really create a creature so inferior that we have to “Buy” what we lack. That somehow Happiness exists somewhere out there, if only we were clever enough or lucky enough or rich enough to acheive it?
Why not learn how perfect we are, how loving we are, how compassionate we are, how lucky we are, how abundant life is? Why not really create a world that we can be proud of handing down to our children? Why? Because for the last hundred years we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that “It” can be bought. Because we are afraid and because we simply don’t know how. We haven’t been told the truth. We’ve been lied to, manipulated to believe that REAL happiness exists when we acheive it. That it’s packaged in the perfect push-up bra. Funny, cuz our innate nature is happy, loving, content, and calm. But domestication, socialization and the mass production process has stripped us of who we really are.
Rediscover who you really are in a Yoga practice. Heal your cravings, addictions, aversions, inner conflicts, pain both physical and emotional. Come into the Yoga Studio of Shelby let our compassionate, professionally trained teachers with the ”Secret” teachings help re-ignite your love of life. It isn’t expensive or scarey. Just come as you are, barefoot and hopeful that true happiness exists somewhere inside us. It is there, no one is too broken, or too far gone, it can work for you…the great father of yoga, Master Patanjali reveals the peaceful secret to success in everything we do…
And if your life is close to perfect already. Come in and discover how it got that way, how to keep it that way. How to help the loved ones we worry about everyday, so that we can help them, too, discover who they really are. And heal the Earth together. We really have to stop the Chaos, it isn’t too late……
Peace and many blessings,
Lisa Tokarz, Founding Director, ERYT
The Yoga Studio of Shelby
It’s so easy to be nice to the easy people. Throw a smile at a stranger, a co-worker, a neighbor. But have you ever tried to be nice to the difficult people? Why are they so difficult? And why do they seem to show up in our families, on the road in front of us? Because they are in the most pain….if you remember that people don’t really want to be difficult, then it becomes an act of compassion. If we understood that every difficult person had an ache or pain in their body or mind, maybe we would be more gentle, maybe we wouldn’t be defensive, or offensive. Maybe we would try to heal their pain. Maybe we would say, “I’m sorry, let me help you, what can I do for you, I really want you to be happy, what do you need, let me help you.” If we looked at every being as if they were our child, would we have more patience?
If we looked at others as if they could be our friend, would we be more kind? Would we try to help ease their pain? That is compassion….that leads to our own bliss. Every time we try to heal the pain of others, we heal our own hearts. We lift our spirit. Have you ever tried it?
Tomorrow, tell a loved one how important they are, especially the difficult ones. Tell a stranger they look nice. Let a car get in front of you, and then be patient if they drive below the speed limit. Slow down, look in someones eyes, listen before answering. Feel someones pain with out pity. Shed tears of joy. Live in the moment. Because the present moment is a gift…..that’s why it’s called present…..
The Kids are going back to school! Now it’s time for busy moms to regroup, recharge and relax!! Summer is enjoyable and stressful at the same time. Let’s face it kids are demanding. I know my own have run me ragged, and the thought of them going back to school makes my heart smile. Having an extra hour during the day that can be used for productive growth, change and inner-peace. Yoga does just that. One of my clients calls her yoga practice “organic xanax”. No harmful side affects, just bliss. One word of caution, it’s addictive. But if you find yourself addicted, what better vice. It’s inexpensive and easily available. Yoga helps us reduce stress, which directly affects the central nervous system. A calm nervous system boosts the immune system. Reduces wrinkles, because we’re not frowning. Naturally improves the quality of breast tissue, at my last mamogram, the tech said, “wow you have great muscle tone at your ribcage connecting to the breast tissue.” And, my husband finds me very attractive after a yoga class. He says, “you just ooze sexy calm”. Which really increases my sex drive naturally. When we are centered, relaxed, and calm, we can make-love easily. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels like an expression of feminity and love. Who doesn’t want that.
Yoga reverses the affects of aging. This is not just marketing jargon, it’s true. The ancient yogis not only outlived their peers, but did so with great vitality and health. When we study yoga, we become sensative to life, we want to make better life choices. Better lifestyle choices, which doctors say is key to improved health, not only for ourselves, but our families, too.
One of the first lifestyle choices to make to drastically improve your health…eliminate toxins from our diet. Simply put, greatly limit processed foods. Sounds crazy, but my family stopped eating high amounts of processed foods about three years ago, and everyone became healthier. Less stress in the body is the reason. Processed food bogs down the liver, and the liver is one of our most important organs. A diet full of processed food invites thousands of toxins for our liver to filter out, this is an unnecessary strain on this essential organ. Right? We only have one!!!
Introduce more organic foods into your diet. What ever veggies you eat on a regular basis, try to make organic. Many local grocers, including Kroger and Meijer, carry the freshest organic fruits and veggies. They receive shipments daily. Avoid any veggies that are limp and lifeless, this is a sign that they have been harvested too long ago to reap the nutriet benefit of the higher cost. Organic foods taste better. Reducing pesticides and artificial fertilizers is always a plus.
Organic milk is amazing. Tastes creamy, and fresh. You can literally taste the difference. Medical professionals are claiming the reason children are developing so early is the consumption of hormones in our food source. Since my children switched to organic milk over three years ago, they have been healthier through the winter. They are not consuming the antibiotics that remain in regular milk, so their immune system is stronger. Antibiotics destroy not only the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria necessary for great health. We haven’t seen sinus, bronchial, or ear infections since. So you can guess, our health care cost has reduced to make up for the higher cost of organic milk. Again though, Kroger has a brand that is about $5 a gallon. But my kids only see the pediatrition once a year, rather that once every 6 weeks like we used to. And with shrinking benefits of our health insurance this is actually a savings.
Finally, look at reducing meat protein for dinner. Meatless Mondays, and Fish on Friday. Remember to eat fish that is Wild Caught. Grocers and local markets will label fish as wild caught of farm raised. Farm raised fish have antibiotics in them, the fish are overcrowded and consume each others waste, ewww! Again, more toxins for our bodies to filter out. Increase healthy nuts and beans for protien, instead of dairy. I know alot of vegetarians who struggle with their weight because of consuming to much dairy for protein. At our house we make a mean chili with organic chicken, lots of kidney beans and fresh celery, onions, organic canned tomatoes and spices. Yum.
Someone once said, ‘you are what you eat’. When you eat a diet filled with toxins…….create more health for yourself and your family. The neighbors will think your crazy, Yoga, organic foods, better health and moods, better interpersonal relationships, more sex….who doesn’t want that? Hope to see you at the Yoga Studio of Shelby.
Lisa Tokarz, ERYT200, founding director and senior teacher at The Yoga Studio of Shelby, has studied yoga, nutrition and dharma for over 17 years with the foremost teacher’s from around the world. She has been sharing her wisdom successfully for 10 years. Join her, with her playful spirit and uplifting presence, and begin to heal your body and your life naturally.