SAMURAW; you complete me

First off, I’m not a vitamin fanatic.

I have a fairly clean vitamin protocol and don’t go overboard with what I believe is not necessary.  I like to simplify my life with not having too many bottles of vitamins (many of which I end up forgetting to take) take up too much of my sought after shelf space. However, I do believe in adding some indispensables because it’s almost impossible to eat a complete balanced daily diet.   Even if you think you are; you are not.

Which brings me to my latest addiction…SAMURAW organic complete. It’s easy because all you have to do is add one scoop to pretty much anything.  It has no taste therefore it doesn’t compete with anything else you drink such as juice or smoothies.  It’s almost impossible to believe how many vitamins/minerals  is in one little scoop. I’m proud of my brother Brad King for having formulated this product.

It was first formulated with children in mind because it’s so hard to get them to take anything.  So now there’s an adult version thankfully for us adults who never grow up and I’m really happy about that.  Just had to share the wealth of wellness.

And if that’s not enough, here’s another testimonial from none other that Dr. John Gray; Author of the famous best selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zft5kR5zgXE

Website:  https://www.samuraw.com/

 

Self-care: Pilates Plus

So I finally broke down and joined the club

Machines they call PROformers. d. king

The club with those scary machines.  The kind that come with interchangeable spring loads and all kinds of kinky ropes and gadgets that are supposed to whip you into shape.  It’s quite intimidating. At least at first. It’s been a month now and I’ve only missed a couple of days.  I did a class called Ass & Abs which is slightly above my level of expertise and now I’m sore.  But it’s a good sore.  The sore where I can feel my muscles….it’s a start.  I’m not aiming to have a six-pack exactly…I’m looking to tone, strengthen, have more flexibility and improve my balance.  Oh hell who am I kidding. I want ABS dammit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates Plus in Palm Springs has three rotating instructors; all excellent in different ways.  They watch you and they will never let you get away with doing things incorrectly.  Believe me; I know!  I’ve been reprimanded more than once.  I must say the non-stop 50 minute workout goes by very quickly and in all honesty I’m hooked now.  Hooked on a feeling….and the reality of liking what I’m beginning to notice.  Also, my eating habits are getting lighter too except for last night when I ate a lobster roll at Dead or Alive wine bar.  But the key to Life is Balance.

Proformer. d. king

Before this I did mat Pilates on occasion.  Here’s a bit of history:

Pilates was created in the 1930s by Joseph Pilates and quickly became popular among dancers as a method of training and rehabilitation. There’s no denying that Pilates offers some great health benefits. Included is core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, flexibility, and the prevention and treatment of back pain.

Pilates on a Mat vs. Pilates using a Reformer

Pilates allows you to work your muscle groups with no impact on joints. It also works your precise, small muscles in controlled ways. The machines are the basis of a core-burning workout that blends Pilates, cardio and strength training.

The simplest way to do Pilates exercises is on a mat. The more challenging and effective way is on a reformer, a device which uses pulleys and springs to create the resistance that’s impossible to generate by simply using the body.

What about weight loss?

Weight loss is a result of creating a calorie deficit whereby you eat fewer calories than you burn and then you drop pounds. Now in some cases, hormones and other metabolic factors come into play, but the primary driver of weight loss is calories in versus calories out.

Pilates Reformer is a great exercise for core and it can help you burn calories, but maybe not as much as certain other activities. And, like any movement, how many calories you do burn depends on how long your session lasts, the intensity of the session, your ability (if it’s new for you, you’re likely to work harder and burn more calories) and your size.  So it’s best to do a mix of some cardio like biking, running, swimming, hiking, fast paced walking combined with pilates and/or yoga.

Yes; it’s work indeed.  But well worth it because your body is a machine.  One that you want to make sure is in  tip-top working order. So she says! 

In Vancouver I’m going to source out a couple of studios.  I already belong to a gym close to home that offers varied daily yoga classes and mat pilates with good instructors. And truth be told, if it’s not within close walking distance to where I live, I probably won’t go.

How about you? Have you tried the reformer, proformer or megaformer?  What are your parameters for working out and how often?

Healthy Breakfast Bowl – Açaí

Açaí (pronounced Ahh…Sigh….E) is like a slightly thicker smoothie in a bowl which you eat instead of drink.

Photo: d. king taken at Palm Greens Cafe in Palm Springs – $13

I only recently jumped onto the Acai bowl bandwagon.  After sampling a few delicious but costly breakfast bowls I decided to make my own.

I’m sure you’ve seen Acai pop up places here and there and maybe wondered what this mysterious name is all about.  Actually it has been around forever.  When I lived in Brazil I was lucky to find out about super fruits such as this along with Guarana and Acerola which were foreign to me at the time.  It just took longer for a lot of North Americans to find out.

Açaí is a palm tree from South American that produces these small edible blackish-purple berries which are loaded with antioxidants (similar to blueberries) with many potential health benefits.  They also deliver good-for-you fats and fiber, making them an overall generally healthy food.

Because of global demand for the berries, the tree is now cultivated for this purpose.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to find fresh berries. Quality products are shock frozen right after harvesting to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Also, you shouldn’t find any additives or sweeteners in it.  I recently bought a bag of frozen unsweetened organic acai  puree (four packets in one bag) at Trader Joes for less than $5.  Apparently it’s easy to find them at your local health food store.

Photo: d. king – the acai is underneath.  For this one I used mango & blueberries.
Photo: d. king – when you mix it up it looks like this.

INGREDIENTS for one:

1 package (100g) unsweeteted Acai puree, frozen

1/2 cup of your favorite granola or muesli (with nuts, raisins and seeds)

½  banana

1 cup mixed fresh fruit

1/2 cup goat milk *kefir (or yogurt)

½ cup coconut milk (optional)

1 tablespoon honey

Sprinkling of cinnamon (I also added some roasted cocoa nibs and extra unsweetened coconut chips).

Take the packet of frozen Acai and run it under warm water for a few minutes, then break it up into a bowl.  Or if you have a blender like a Vitamix you can put it directly into that either alone or with some coconut water or milk, then stir and put into your bowl.

Then add granola, fruit and toppings.  That’s it!

Photo: d. king

You can thank me later

*Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar in look and taste to a thin yogurt that is made with a yeast and bacterial fermentation starter of kefir grains.  The drink originated in Eastern Europe and Russia.  Goat Kefir is supposed to be easier on digestion.

I’ve been using Kefir instead of yogurt in smoothies for over a year now.

 

Feel-good Friday: Desert Bloom

Feeling really inspired, full of life, more nurtured and on my way to becoming more fit.  You could say I’m beginning to blossom again (ha,ha).  Well that’s how I feel right now.  And right now is where I want to be…in the moment.

Photo: d. king

Could have something to do with being in the desert, the sunshine and noticing the desert flowers starting to bloom.  Even since one week ago they’ve become so much more noticeable.  If you look between the cracks you can find beauty.

And I’m enjoying hiking around Palm Springs.  There are many varied hiking areas, however these photos were taken on two recent hikes in an area where I can walk to from my place.  In that regard I feel very lucky.  Another beautiful sight on my last hike was seeing for the first time a large family of big horn sheep.  They sprinkle the mountain white.

 It appears that everything is starting to flourish for Spring.  It’s at least a positive force and a force of nature – not to be messed with.

Selfie – a  few days ago with Ramona & Alex.
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

So on that note…I leave you with a few quotes to contemplate over the weekend:

There is only “one” you in the bunch. Photo: d. king

I like this quote but I’m staying on the trail.   I don’t mind losing myself but I don’t want to get lost completely.
These guys certainly make their own way and their own rules.  They’ve even disrupted some of the paths but they were here before us so that’s ok.
Photo: Tammy Preast – Josie Johnson Vista
Tammy is an inspiration – she even has a hiking guide book so you can say she goes by the book so to speak.  Plus she’s super fit.  Photo: d. king
Trying to keep on top of things.  Photo: Ramona

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND

Healthy Alternative: Homemade Coconut Milk

photo: the happiness kitchen

I’ve been pouring store bought coconut milk over granola, oatmeal and adding it in place of water to smoothies for a looooong time. That’s before I knew how so much more delicious and easy it is to make my own.  Trust me,  bought coconut milk does not compare to homemade. It’s great for smoothies, but after making your own you’ll realize how watery it is in comparison because they use more water to coconut ratio. I prefer coconut over almond milk.  It’s my tropical side coming out.

When you make your own it’s almost like cracking open a fresh coconut.  Really!

Ingredients (for about 3 cups)

  • 2 cups shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 3-4 cups water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk!)
  • Pinch salt
  • Add optional: 1 Tbsp maple syrup, ½ tsp. vanilla extract or scrape half a vanilla bean for added sweetness.  fyi: I have not added any extras so far

Instructions

  1. Add coconut, 3 cups of hot (not boiling) water, pinch of salt (I like himalayan), and any additional add-ins (optional) to a high-speed blender. Top with lid and cover with a towel to ensure it doesn’t splash. Blend for about 2 minutes or until the mixture seems well combined.
  2. Pour the mixture through a sieve over a large mixing bowl. Save pulp for smoothies, baked goods or add it to oatmeal. You won’t waste any and it gives added coconut taste.
  3. Transfer to a sealed container or glass bottle and refrigerate. Will keep in the refrigerator for about one week. Shake before use, as it can separate in the refrigerator (due to no preservatives!).  Some recommend squeezing the milk through a cheese cloth after using sieve but I didn’t need to do this.

FOR COFFEE LOVES (like me)

And if you want to go one step further try making your own coconut milk creamer.  I’ve been using So Good fat free Coconut Milk Creamer with French Vanilla which works really well to sweeten up coffee instead of adding sugar.  But I can’t find it easily in Vancouver and I’ve tried all the other brands which don’t compare in my opinion. I still like sweetener (that’s not gonna change) so I’m now making my own.

Homemade Coconut Milk Creamer

Homemade coconut milk creamer for coffee is also super easy to make. All you need is quality coconut milk and a healthy sweetener like honey and natural vanilla extract. Full fat coconut milk contains the healthy medium chain fats that are in coconut oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

  1. Blend the coconut milk, sweetener of choice and vanilla extract together until the creamer is mixed well.
  2. Pour desired amount into your coffee or tea and store the remaining creamer in the refrigerator.
  3. Make sure to shake the creamer well before using. Enjoy! This creamer will be good for up to two weeks.

 Sooooo Good!

 

Self-care: take this!

I always thought of self care as more than mud masks and bubble baths.

contributed image – thecord.ca

It really is a total package encompassing mind/body/spirit + other life essentials.  So when I saw this article from another website it was only fitting to share it with you.  Because life is simple and complicated at the same time.  We need to focus on what needs to be fixed on the outside in order to feel good on the inside.  I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing – by Brianna Wiest: thoughtcatalog.com

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends.  It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’ –  Amil Niazi

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

Well said! Who else agrees?

Self Care: Dinner for One

I’m slowly getting back to some of the usual happy rituals that make my day complete.  One is the enjoyment of cooking dinner.

Broccolini with shaved Vermont cheddar, baby potatoes & wild sockeye salmon with salsa verde (Botanica recipe posted on October 17th – absolutely delicious).

Over dinner (many times accompanied by a glass of wine) along with pleasant music playing in the background, there is conversation. Which means normally there’s another person to converse with. Someone who can talk about pretty much…anything, which makes the ritual that more gratifying. Of course I talk to the dogs but it’s not the same.  They’re really not up on current affairs, however they’re very good listeners.

So it has taken me at least two months to get back into some kind of norm of cooking only for myself.  It’s not that I don’t have the inclination to invite someone else to join me, it’s just that I feel the time has come to look after me, in the same way I used to do for two. So I went grocery shopping and thoughtfully put together a proper dinner, taking time to do so, incorporating healthful ingredients. And I enjoyed every bite.  By myself.

I’m not gonna lie; I much prefer dinner for two. But there is something to having a routine even if it’s only meant for one. It brings meaning to everyday living.  And besides,  I enjoyed the company.  Maybe next time I’ll try taking myself out on a date!

But really; looking after ourselves is as important as looking after another. Even if it’s not as much fun.

How about you?  Do you take the time to make a nice meal just for yourself?

Wine + Dinner = Winner                                                                                                        (image: d. king)

 

Self care Sunday – Time Out

This is my first post in a week

You may have noticed or not because everyone is caught up relishing the joys of Summer.    It’s normal for me to cut back posts from mid-July until the end of August.  Time to wind down. I become more lazy, take time out for myself,  spend more time outside and quality time with others.

However at present I am devoting my full time and energy to a very difficult family situation.  Eventually I might write about it.  It’s the first time in a loooong time that I find it hard to concentrate on more than what is at hand.  It’s been emotionally draining and I must look after myself on top of it all because…

Simple pleasures: it’s strange to note that something as unexciting as changing the bed sheets give me a simple boost of pleasure.  Something as habitual as sitting down with my morning coffee to check e-mails is more relaxing than normal and a fifteen minute afternoon nap is heaven sent.  I don’t function well when there is chaos around me and my surroundings need to be relatively clean and tidy.

Which brings me back to what it means to take time out.  It’s important to not totally deplete your energy. And we don’t need Denis Waitley (best-selling author of the audio series “The Psychology of Winning” and books such as “Seeds of Greatness” and “The Winner’s Edge”) to tell us so.  Although he did say:

Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.

Food for Thought

 

 

 

 

 

Self-care Sunday Scramble

Always scrambling for new healthy breakfast ideas, my gut feeling said that this would be an excellent choice.  Made with good-for-you *kimchi and leftover vegetables topped over wilted spinach it was!

photo/recipe – d. king

Story at-a-glance
*Kimchi is a fermented blend of cabbage, chili peppers, garlic, scallions, and other spices often eaten with every meal in Korea.  Rich in vitamins A and C due to its fermentation process, it is also rich in beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria. Kimchi has potent antioxidative and immune-stimulating activities along with anti-obesity effects and more more.  Basically it is a super healthy additive or mid afternoon snack on its own.  

As it turns out I was not so imaginative using kimchi in a scramble as I thought because there is a ton of recipes out there.

How-to:

First wilt a handful of spinach in butter.  Set aside.

In same frypan stir in chopped red pepper, broccoli, green onion + parsley.  Then add some kimchi (amount depending on how much you like – it’s a required taste but I actually love it). I also added some freshly grated carrot (optional).

In another small bowl beat with a fork two free-range eggs.  When vegetables are tender, add the eggs and mix together. Top over spinach.

Notes: for sides instead of making homefried potatoes I steamed yams then mashed with a little (grass fed) butter, sliced avocado with sesame seeds and baked beans.

woodbrine3Do you like kimchi?

 

Self-Care Smoothie with Benefits

Adding the probiotic powerhouse called KEFIR to my morning smoothie has become a replacement for regular almond milk. Finding grass fed is the ultimate. 

And of course daisies and a sprig of mint make it more appealing

Its unique name comes from the Turkish work “keif,” which means “good feeling.”For centuries, it’s been used in European and Asian folk medicine due to the wide variety of conditions it’s been known to cure.

Although I still like almond milk, Kefir comes with an impressive abundance of additional health benefits listed below.  It also tastes very good blended up with berries, protein powder and whatever else you put in.  I add green powder (of course I use Brad King’s ultimate vegan organic wild greens – it really is the best and has everything you can think of per scoop), about one Tbsp. of brown flax seeds which I grind up just before putting it in the Vitamix and lastly a Tbsp. of organic flax seed oil (per the disease fighting Budwig Protocol). Sometimes a little turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon + honey.

Cheers!

Have you tried it?

For more information:

https://draxe.com/kefir-benefits/