Pack your bags

I’m flying home today from Portland feeling an incredible sense of freedom and possibility.

It’s amazing what travel does.

How it changes you.

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Traveling allows us to shift those 2000 bits that we continuously bring into our awareness.

(Every second, we are exposed to over 400 billion bits of information. Out of that 400 billion, yes BILLION, only 2000 bits gets into our conscious awareness. We CHOOSE those 2000 bits based on our belief systems. We live our own personal version of reality. Check out my blog what are your 2000 bits? to learn more…)

When we land in a different city, sometimes with an entirely different culture, we are invited to experience new places, activities, people, every day ways of life, and yes, food.

The entire experience supports our personal evolution.

It takes us out of our comfort zones, putting us in places that are completely new. Talk about a boost in confidence as we learn to navigate our way around.

If you fully embrace travel experiences, THEY WILL ALTER YOU.

Travel presents us with new points of view. We see how others live and are reminded that not everyone lives or thinks like we do back home. It challenges belief systems and invites in new ways to see the world. (remember you chose what you see, your own personal reality, which is only truth to you)

It also helps us become more mindful.

When we travel, we are in the present moment, in the NOW. You’re not on autopilot. You’re aware of what is right in front of you.

So when you travel, instead of it being a break or “getaway” from your life, what if you went into the experience as if it was a life changing adventure?

If you do, it changes how you show up to the entire experience. This includes the airport and flight adventure, how friendly you are and who you will meet, and what you are willing to try outside your comfort wheel.

All of it is based on your 2000 bits.

Go ahead and have the local experiences of the city or culture you arrive in.

Learn the history, visit a cultural landmark, explore the city’s parks, book an excursion, go to a local festival, and take public transit. Public transit in a foreign country is an added bonus.

Talk to strangers.

Yes, talk to strangers! Strike up a conversation and learn about their culture, traditions, and way of living. There is value in how everyone lives.

We grow by becoming friends with people who are not our same age, with similar upbringings, social and economic backgrounds, and ultimately, comparable belief systems. Engaging with people who differ from us is how we grow.

Wish to exercise while traveling?

Take a jog in one of the parks or step into a yoga studio for a class. How about a kayak excursion or a city bicycle tour? The treadmills in those closet gyms at the hotel are an absolute last resort.

Use your relationship with food as your travel guide.

Eat where and what the locals do!

Have lunch from a food truck or at a local café. Eat the cuisine of where you are. Try something you’ve never had before and perhaps never even heard of! Please stay out of the chain restaurants or tourist spots that give what you have at home.

This is an opportunity to expand your palate, which is about expanding your perspective.

Let life in!

The opportunities and challenges of travel allow you to learn so much about yourself.

Who are you in unfamiliar places? How resourceful can you be? How “set in your beliefs” are you? Can you be creative and remain open when things don’t go as planned? How far can you stretch outside your comfort wheel? Can you turn strangers into friends?

Can you adapt to the unknown?

Think about all the gifts travel provides.

So go ahead and book that trip now and get ready for your next life changing adventure.

Namaste

 

Notifications:

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.

Drink your way to health…

With the summer heat and extra outdoor activities comes sunburns, heat exhaustion, headaches, heart palpitations, and leg cramps.

What can we do?

HYDRATE.

We take our hydration needs so casually, not necessarily realizing how important water is to our entire well-being.

Water makes up about 65% of our weight. Do the math, that’s a lot of water.

Our blood is 90% water. The brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and muscles are all over 75% water. The skin is 60% water and even the bones are 30%!

Think about our blood being 90% water.

The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the 50 trillion cells in your body while transporting toxins to be eliminated from the body.

What happens when you are dehydrated?

Your energy levels drop. Thinking lacks focus and clarity. That dull headache surfaces. The heart beats faster without exertion. Your body temperature is not being regulated well. You become dry; which is felt in the joints, skin, and even the digestive tract.

Let’s not forget those cramps in the calves!

Water plays so many roles within the body.

From being a transport vehicle, to a universal solvent participating in countless chemical reactions, to acting as a cleansing agent while maintaining our internal thermostat, to being a cushion and lubricant to our joints, digestive, and respiratory tracts. The list can go on.

Basically, the body works more efficiently when it is hydrated.

It is a nutritional strategy that we can all pay a little more attention to.

Now it’s about drinking more water; not juices, more water. Not coffee or caffeinated beverages; more water. Not alcoholic beverages; more water.

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Consider infusing the water with some fruit and herbs.

How about a cucumber, basil and strawberry infused water?

Or fresh mint with slices of orange?

Or grapefruit with a few sprigs of rosemary?

Be creative.

Most ask, well how much should I drink?

There are many personal variables to that answer; constantly changing variables.

Try not to get so intellectual about it.

Make sure you drink enough water so that you urinate every few hours and the color of the urine is clear to very pale yellow.

That’s it!

Begin paying attention to how you feel when you are dehydrated.

Observe how your body communicates with you. (it’s personal!)

It may show up in your energy levels. Lack of motivation. Headaches. Leg cramps. Constipation. Sinus infections. Heart palpitations. Feeling out of breath. Inability to focus and remember. Impatience. Overeating. Weight struggles.

Figure out how dehydration impacts YOU.

Then begin this strategy to add more water into your daily days.

Observe the difference in how you feel.

Are you more energetic? Motivated to physically move around? Is your mind focused and memory sharp? Does your body feel physically lighter and muscularly strong?

How’s your mood?!

One of the best rewards of being hydrated is that it elevates your energetic vibration; and within your energy is where your health resides.

So drink up!

Namaste

 

Notifications:

If you wish to explore food beyond the calorie, to learn more about how your relationship with food can become your pathway to becoming the best version of yourself, watch this video, and consider taking the Hidden Messages in Food Course.

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.

Meditation in Movement

Addressing our relationship with food and coming up with eating strategies that best serve us is the first step; the initiator of the healing process.

In order to sustain a higher level of well-being, which is more that the absence of disease; it requires that we create a supportive lifestyle.

How we eat is not enough.

One aspect is how we exercise the brain which ultimately leads to a healthy mind.

Our mind is at the origin of what creates our life experience.

What type of consistent exercise would be beneficial to add to our supportive lifestyle?

When combining ancient wisdom with current neuroscience findings the result is YOGA.

Yoga means “union”, a balance between mind and body.

Through physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and mindful awareness, yoga changes the brain and expands the mind.

This practice asks for your full attention.

It asks for a level of focus so that you can remain fully present.

The physical practice of yoga includes matching your breath to a movement, to the visual and auditory cues from the instructor, to orchestrating the shift from one pose to another, to holding poses that may challenge us physically and mentally.

Yoga is meditation in movement.

Due to science’s advancements in tools of observation and measure, the world of neuroscience is backing up the ancient wisdom of yoga.

Here are some of our most current understandings about how a yoga practice can protect your brain, expand your mind, and ultimately transform your life.

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Five Brain Responses to a Yoga Practice

  1. Neurogenesis:   For so long, prior to brain imagery advancements, it was thought that we had a fixed number of brain cells. What we now know is we generate new brain cells throughout our entire life! A yoga practice supports this. One particular area (amongst many) called the hippocampus increases in brain volume from having a yoga practice. The hippocampus plays a role in memories and learning. An extra bonus is the amygdala, the fear center of the brain, shrinks!
  2. Neuroplasticity:  Neuroplasticity is about rewiring the neural pathways so we can learn and retain new information while pruning out old habitual patterns. A yoga practice helps to rewire and strength these synaptic connections. So yes you can literally change your mind, and old dogs can learn new tricks.
  3. Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System:  The practice of yoga creates a balance within; connecting mind and body. This shifts what is called our HPA stress axis. Now the stress response is there for our safety; however when we chronically activate it, it results in inflammatory processes throughout the body. What overworks will eventually under function. A yoga practice alters this process by instead of our “fight or flight” hormones running the show, our relaxation response, the parasympathetic system improves.
  4. Release of Health Supportive Neurotransmitters:  Here come the feel-good happiness molecules! Practicing yoga releases serotonin, dopamine, GABA and acetylcholine which all contribute to improved mood, a sense of motivation, a more relaxed state, and the ability to learn. The release of these neurotransmitters shifts your perception about life circumstances and how you will respond to them.
  5. Increases in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF):  BDNF is a brain protein that protects the growth and maintenance of our brain cells; particularly those of the hippocampus, the center of memory and learning. Maintaining brain cell health and their connectivity is directly related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Research shows an increase in BDNF with a consistent yoga practice.

What does this all mean?

Having a consistent yoga practice leads to…

  1. Alterations in gene expression that lead to biochemical and structural changes in the brain.
  2. Improved cognitive function. You will find an improved ability to focus, be present with what is before you, process information quicker, and bring new knowledge to memory easier.
  3. Deeper restorative sleep which supports the body’s self-healing abilities.
  4. Your perception of stress or what you define as stressful changes. With that is a healthier emotional reaction to unexpected and sometimes unwanted life circumstances.
  5. You will find yourself smiling more; open and playful to life’s possibilities.
  6. There is an overall sense of freedom to live authentically.

This is how you take your yoga off the mat and into your life.

You develop the ability to remain calm during life’s inevitable changes and challenges.

Perceptions about life are altered. (Remember: Our mind is at the origin of what creates our life experience.)

Yoga is a life transforming practice.

Go ahead and sign up for a class! All this science certainly feeds our intellectual needs but until you get on that mat and have the experience yourself, you’ll miss out on all these amazing benefits.

Make sure to practice more than once, twice or even a dozen times. Yoga is a practice; a lifestyle choice.

When done with intention and attention it can protect your brain, expand your mind, and ultimately transform your life.

Namaste.

 

Notifications:

If you wish to explore food beyond the calorie, to learn more about how your relationship with food can become your pathway to becoming the best version of yourself, watch this video, and consider taking the Hidden Messages in Food Course.

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.

 

 

 

 

You eat what you are

When it comes to marketing for healthy eating, the saying “you are what you eat” seems to come in tow.

Now this statement certainly has merit.

The foods we eat help provide the building blocks of who we are.

The foods we eat help create our physical structure, support physiological functions, affect the release of biochemical messengers such as hormones and neurotransmitters, provide us with energy, and even influence our cognitive abilities and mood.

That’s food through a physical perspective; the most superficial layer of what defines food.

Our interaction with food goes so much deeper.

The game changing saying really is, “you eat what you are”.

Your relationship with food is a reflection of who you are and how you are living.

Let this sink in.

You. Eat. What. You. Are.

The way you eat reflects all the way back to how you think.

It reflects how you navigate through life, and even provides a snapshot of the worldview you follow, along with the internal life rule book you govern yourself by.

Yes, your relationship with food is that powerful of a teacher, if you invite it to be.

In order for true healing to occur, to experience long term change in any area of your life, it requires we first observe who we are being and then take action on our new understandings.

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Why not use your relationship with food as your pathway to do so?

You can see it in your everyday food choices, cravings, aversions, eating behaviors to even your beliefs about food.

  • Perhaps you always eat on the run.
  • Perhaps you call yourself a picky eater and eat the same foods all the time.
  • Perhaps the thought of creating a meal for yourself is just too much work.
  • Perhaps you have your entire eating regimen pre-planned, timely eating throughout the day, counting every morsel of food.
  • Perhaps every time you eat, there is an emotion of guilt or shame.
  • Perhaps you eat to distance yourself from your feelings.
  • Perhaps you go on every diet out there and justify why you give yourself a pass for not following through.

If you examine your thoughts and actions surrounding food, you can learn so much about who you are BEING.

Keep in mind, life is a practice.

It is not something to achieve perfection at. It’s impossible since everything, including ourselves, is constantly changing. (I can share this has been quite the personal lesson for me!)

It’s about who you choose to BE.

Start with your relationship with food. (key word is relationship; it’s never just the food!)

Counting calories, emphasizing protein, and dodging the carbs will not lead to long term change. True healing and change doesn’t happen on that superficial level of food or us for that matter. It asks for us to shift who we are being. When you do, your food choices will automatically change without feelings of deprivation, punishment or loss.

Your food choices will change because you choose foods that are aligned with who you are in that moment. (whether you do it consciously or unconsciously)

Allow food to be your practice ground.

Begin to observe yourself.

Then take that heightened awareness outside the kitchen to the rest of your life.

Witness who you are being.

  • Who are you in that ridiculously contorted yoga pose?
  • Who are you when you hit the wall on your long run?
  • Who are you when that sweet craving becomes unbearable in those lonely nighttime hours?
  • Who are you when your day goes completely off what you planned?
  • Who are you when you get stuck in traffic and miss an important meeting?
  • Who are you in the face of the unexpected; the uncomfortable?

Can you remain centered? Can you remain grounded and flow with what is before you?

THAT SPACE where you can remain centered and open to what is happening is where your life transforms.

The best part, your relationship with food can guide you there.

Want to learn more?

Come join me and learn how to use food as a healer and pathway to the best version of yourself. Watch this video for details.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Namaste.

 

Let summer begin!

Summer is arriving! I don’t know about you but I thrive at this time of year.

Nature is bursting all around. The flowers are in bloom, trees are soon to bear fruit and the birds are having a party at 4am in the tree outside my window.

The daylight has extended giving us more time to play outside.

There is a general enthusiasm about life that begins to spread.

You may even find yourself willing to do more.

We feel this shift in energy because behind every season is an element of Nature that reflects its “personality” so to speak.

The summer season is governed by the FIRE element; representing a time of transformation.

It’s when we take all those ideas/goals that we have been brainstorming about since the beginning of the year and begin taking action; consistent action.

We can visualize, plan and hope, but until we physically go towards our goals, they cannot manifest. Don’t worry about finding the perfect plan before taking action. Any action, with the aligned intention, is the action for you to take.

The key is to show up to the process EVERY SINGLE DAY; no matter how big or small.

So I ask, where are you with those ideas/goals you set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

What did you make happen so far? Is a revision required? Or are you on a path of action?

Take the time to contemplate this, especially if you truly want to create something new in your life.  It can be about physical health, personal growth, relationships, your career, building community, recreational adventures etc.

This is the time. This is the season to act.

If you are not sure what your first move may be, begin with your relationship with food. Everything about this relationship is a great practice ground to expanding all other areas of our lives.

Here are some Food and Eating Strategies to begin this Summer Season:

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  1. Eat a plant based diet. Head to the farmer’s markets. Lots of options at this time of year. Eat a rainbow diet with a strong emphasis on leafy greens.
  2. Our digestive fire is highest at noon. Eat your largest meal at lunch and make the evening a small meal or even snack. I know it may ask you to change your routine. That’s what transforming your relationship with food is all about; inviting in change.
  3. Choose faster cooking techniques. Steam, blanch, stir-fry, sauté, and grill.
  4. Add cooling natured foods. Foods have different effects on our body’s thermostat. It is beneficial to add cooling foods to your diet during a hot climate or when you feel internal heat. Some cooling foods include bok choy, broccoli, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, dandelion greens, napa cabbage, mango, millet, cherries, plums, Swiss chard, lemons, and mung beans.
  5. Stay hydrated. Nature is its most active. The climate is hot. We have a strong Fire element at this time of year. We need more water during these times.  Drop some fresh fruit in your water to enhance the taste. Be aware that caffeinated and alcoholic beverages dehydrate you; so be careful!
  6. Our behaviors around food also make a difference. It is never just about the food itself. This is the time to call over some friends and cook together. Eat outside. Have a BBQ or a picnic. Put your bare feet in the grass. Soak up the sun. Eat in the highest vibration, in the company of those you cherish.

As you begin with these food and eating strategies, take some time each day to work towards your goals. Every action you take is one step closer to creating something new in your life.

Namaste.

 

Notifications:

If you wish to explore the elements behind the seasons, the elements that are also within you, and how your relationship with food can guide you to becoming the best version of yourself, watch this video on the Hidden Messages in Food.

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.

 

Red Lentil Dal with Spinach

Lentils are a great addition to our diet.

They are a powerhouse of nutrients (being a major protein source for vegetarians), help regulate blood sugar levels, play a role in protecting the heart, and support digestion; which is home to the majority of your immunity!

Cooking with healing spices as I did in my latest recipe below turns their medicinal abilities up a notch!

Some eat with basmati rice while others enjoy it with a poached egg. My favorite accompaniment is lightly sautéed broccolini or roasted cauliflower.

Enjoy!

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Red Lentil Dal with Spinach

By Teri Mosey

Yields: 4 cups

 

1 tablespoon clarified butter

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

½ cup onion, small diced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground

½ teaspoon coriander seed, ground

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed

4 cups filtered water or vegetable stock

1 cup tomato, deseeded, small diced

2 cups spinach, chopped

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a skillet, on medium-high heat, warm the clarified butter. Add mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds start to pop, add the onion, ginger, garlic and a touch of sea salt. Sauté until onion becomes translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne; coating onions and cooking for another minute.
  2. Add lentils and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, until lentils have softened, with most liquid absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste. Adjust with additional lemon juice, salt or pepper.

 

Notifications:

If you wish to explore food beyond the calorie, to learn more about how your relationship with food can become your pathway to becoming the best version of yourself, watch this video, and consider taking the Hidden Messages in Food Course.

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.

 

 

 

Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

Did you know that the digestive system has more neurons than our entire spinal cord?

That our gastrointestinal tract contains brain receptors impacting our state of mind as well as being home to seventy percent of our immune system?

The holistic paradigm continues to be at work.

It is truly amazing how everything is connected.

For me, it began with exploring my relationship with food through a holistic perspective. This required me to peel back from the superficial, physical aspects to the energetic and spiritual levels of who I am.

Not at all what I expected as I began this holistic journey.

I didn’t know that everything I was to experience in the kitchen was merely a practice ground to connect with the deepest part of who I am; my soul.

Being in the kitchen wasn’t just about learning how to choose and prepare nutritional and nourishing meals for myself and others.

That was just what ignited the change in me.

All the experiences in the kitchen, from the naked eye, looked like I improved my knife skills, the ability to marry spices together, keep those onions from sticking to the pan, conquer the poached egg, and make a vegan coconut ice cream to die for.

There was so much more happening.

Behind all of that was the real change.

The change was in confidence, creativity, playfulness, love, and inner peace.

The kitchen became my space for personal growth.

My practice ground to expand my life experience.

I share this with you here for two reasons.

First, it is never just the food. It’s your interaction with the food; on a physical, energetic, and soul level.

Second, it is Brain Awareness Health Month and there is so much the kitchen/cooking/food can provide.

As I keep diving deeper into this holistic journey, my fascination with neuroscience, mind-body physiology, and even quantum physics grows. These new understandings reinforce the holistic paradigm that everything is connected.

A major connection is the gut-brain link. (It’s not a casual connection. The digestive system is intimately connected to the workings of the brain through the vagus nerve and via bloodstream)

The digestive system is more than a mechanical machine to digest food as we were taught in grade school.

The digestive system is filled with complexity.

The digestive system has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system.

The digestive system plays roles in regulating muscles, immune cells, hormones, and manufacturing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

90% of serotonin is actually manufactured by the nerve cells in the gut, not the brain!

This is the master happiness molecule. This feel good chemical coordinates digestive contractions, while also playing roles in sleep, pain sensitivity, mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being.

If your gut is happy, so is your mind.

It also works in reverse.

If your mind is running on positive thoughts, your gut will be functioning optimally.

For every thought you have, biochemicals are released from the brain that travel to your body so you can feel what you are thinking.

Emotions are felt in your gut.

We’ve all been there. Those butterflies, that hollow empty feeling, a knot in our stomach to that feeling of excitement.

This is because there is a coordinated response to every emotion you feel.

Your gut health is a mirror of your emotions.

How incredible is that?!

Think about it.

It’s never just about digesting food.

Yes, eating a diverse, whole foods diet, primarily plant based, as close to its origin as possible is a great place to start.

Hands down, it is a perfect action to begin with.

But it is not enough for true healing to occur.

Food is the initiator of the healing process.

The pathway to making long lasting change requires going all the way back to your thoughts.

To begin shifting that inner banter that creates emotions that are physically expressed in your body; including your gut.

Best practice is to meditate.

shutterstock_285228191To begin, sit in silence every single day.

Start with 5 minutes and keep adding a minute at a time.

Practice every single day.

Yes, every single day.

On top of that, why not begin using your time in the kitchen as a form of meditation?

Meditation is about being present; in the now. Not in yesterday’s story or the worry of the future.

Being in the now.

Go ahead, grab a recipe, and head into the kitchen; your new meditation studio.

Place your full attention on the cooking process.

Focus on peeling, chopping and dicing the vegetables. The repetitious act of preparation elicits a calming effect.

Make sure to remain fully present.

Don’t rush through the process.

Be attentive to the texture of the ingredients, the change in colors of vegetables as they cook, the sound of the onions sautéing, to the smells and aromas of the spices filling the room.

Try not to get lost in other thoughts.

Each time one wanders in, go back to using your senses and bring your awareness back to the cooking process.

Mindful cooking creates a space for mental clarity, peaceful states of mind, and a boost in confidence that can be taken outside the kitchen and into your life.

Mindful cooking is a perfect way to support the gut-brain link, to honor the mind-body connection within you, and get even closer to becoming the best version of yourself.

Namaste.

 

Notifications:

If you wish to explore food beyond the calorie, to learn more about how your relationship with food can become your pathway to becoming the best version of yourself, watch this video, and consider taking the Hidden Messages in Food Course.

If you are curious as to what the world of holistic nutrition is all about, begin with this free, exclusive video series.