Friday, September 24, 2010

Easy DIY detox yoga sequence

As promised, here is an easy DIY detox yoga sequence.  The postures are suitable for all levels and you only need to set aside 20-30 minutes. This is a great sequence to do in the morning as it helps to get your body into detox mode for the day.

The purpose of this routine is to stimulate the body's natural detox processes as well as firm up the body, improve circulation and reduce fluid retention. It includes mainly twists and backbends which are both ideal for detoxification.

The sequence
Warm up by doing some sun salutations. I usually do three rounds of Surya Namaskar A and three rounds of the Surya Namaskar B holding the downward dog for 5 breaths.

Hold each of the following postures for 5 to 10 breaths.

1. Tadasana - Mountain Pose

2. Adho mukha svanasana - Downward dog

3. Eka pada rajakapotasana – One legged pigeon pose (both sides)

4. Parsvakonasana – Extended side angle pose (both sides)
5. Twisted lunge (both sides)

6. High lunge (both sides)

7. Virabadrasana 3 – Warrior 3 (both sides)
8. Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

9. Bharadvajasana – Bharadvaja’s twist (both sides)

10. Ustrasana – Camel pose

11. Balasana – Child’s pose
13. Viparita Karani - Legs up the wall pose

12. Savasana – Spend five minutes (or more if you have time) in this relaxing posture. I like to say to myself "let go" with every exhalation for the first minute or so of this posture.

This sequence will boost the detoxification process and really get things moving in your body. It's a great sequence to do everyday if you have the time, and especially while you are doing a cleanse.

Feel free to comment or email me if you have any specific questions. I'm more than happy to help.


Images courtesy of Yoga Journal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Smoothie-licious – yummy juices & smoothie recipes for your DIY detox

Juicing is awesome. It is a brilliant way to get loads of nutrients into your body without consuming a massive mountain of fruit & veggies. In our kitchen on Tuesday, I took a pic of the amount of fruit & veg that goes into a 3 day cleanse. Holy nutrients Batman! That doesn’t even include the ingredients for our smoothies.

As well as bursting with nutrients, fresh juices also contain antioxidant vitamins, natural antibiotics, anti-inflammatory properties and enzymes to improve the quality of your digestion. Good stuff.

A couple of things to remember about juicing:

1.    Drink your juices straight away. If you are using a home juicer or buying your juices from a juice bar, make sure you drink them straight away. We use special slow, cold press juicers that retain nutrients for way longer, but if you’re using a commercial or home juicer, they tend to oxidate (you know how apple juice starts to turn brown after a few minutes) rather quickly, so you should drink them immediately after juicing.
2.    Use high quality ingredients. You want the freshest and most lovely ingredients to go into your juices.
3.    Experiment and innovate. I’m always making new juices and smoothies, depending on what’s in season (and what’s in my fridge) at the time. Throw whatever takes your fancy in.

As promised, here are some de-lovely smoothie & juice recipes.

Apple, mint & lime juice
3-4 Granny Smith apples
2 sprigs of mint
¼ lime

Wash all ingredients. Core and quarter the apples. Roughly chop the peel off the lime. Juice. Drink. Yum.

Carrot, apple and celery juice
3 carrots
2 Granny Smith apples
2 celery stalks

Wash all ingredients. Core and quarter the apples. Cut the bottom ends of the carrot and celery and chop into pieces that will fit through your juicer. Juice. Drink. Yum.

Blueberry, spinach and apple juice
1 cup blueberries
Small handful baby spinach
3 Granny Smith apples

Wash all ingredients. Core and quarter the apples. Juice. Drink. Yum.

A word about smoothies
Smoothies are pretty awesome too. That's why we've added some to our cleanses. They are very easy to digest - your digestive system is best able to absorb nutrients from 1mm size pieces of food. That's why juices and smoothies are so good - they make all the nutrients readily available and easy to absorb. Green smoothies are particularly good. The late Dr Ann Wigmore (a pioneer in the healthy eating and living movement) spoke of an instant surge of energy and brain focus with her first green smoothie. That's how I feel when I drink my morning smoothie - bursting with energy and enthusiasm.  

Strawberry mango smoothie
1 cup frozen mango cheeks
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup rice milk

Combine all ingredients and blend. So yum.

Blueberry kale smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 kale leaves (or small handful spinach)
½ cup of water
1 banana

Wash kale leaves. Peel banana (duh). Combine all ingredients and blend.

Green smoothie
Small handful baby spinach
1 celery stalk
1 banana
1 pear
1 apple
½ cup water

For extra protein and essential fatty acids, you can add a tablespoon of linseeds (also known as flax seeds) or chia seeds to any of the smoothies. If you use chia seeds, soak them in ¼ cup of water first until they form a gel like substance and then add them to the blender.

You can also add superfood powders or liquids to your smoothies. I love Vital Greens (it almost has a chocolatey taste), spirulina and acai berry powder. We use these in the Urban Remedy smoothies and they add an extra burst of goodness and nutrients.

Next week I’ll talk more about cravings and how to satisfy them with healthy options. I’ll also upload a DIY detox yoga sequence as well as some other ideas, hints and tips.

Happy DIY detoxing.

What’s your plan to make the most of your DIY detox?
Do you have any juice or smoothie recipes you want to share?

Emma x

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy DIY detox

Um, hello… it’s already spring. That’s right. It’s September. It’s literally a matter of weeks before the weather hots up and it’s time for the beach. WHAT? Did I say weeks? Holy bikini-time Batman!

I don’t know about you, but I’m staring down the barrel of bikini shopping and not feeling all that excited about baring my not-so-tanned winter body in a change room with 3 way mirrors and florescent lights (Yes, I’m talking to you Myer).

I feel all blurgh and I need a plan. Lucky for you, I have one. I always have a plan. It’s called Project Fab-u-Cleanse – a simple DIY detox  to get your mind and body feeling change room friendly.

How long? As long as you like. I recommend a week to start and continuing for another two weeks if you have the time and inclination. Don’t get stressed out if you have an event or something on. It’s not meant to be hardcore. If you need to eat/drink outside of the guidelines below, that’s fine. Just get back to it the next day. Easy.

What do you have to do? It’s soooo easy. Follow the simple detox guidelines below for the 1-3 week cleanse period and exercise for at least 4 hours per week (walking, running, yoga, aerobics, pole dancing, zumba – whatever takes your fancy). Couldn’t be any easier. If you want to throw in a 3 or 5 day juice cleanse as part of the program, go for it (you can order from the Urban Remedy website.

Print out your cheat sheet here. I’ll also be uploading lots of detox recipes (especially salads, juices and smoothies) and a detox yoga sequence to this blog so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

Easy DIY detox guidelinesThis is a pretty gentle, do-at-home with minimal disruption, detox, aimed at reducing the bad stuff and increasing the good stuff. One benefit you’ll probably notice is a little bit of weight loss (due to replacing “less good for you” foods with better choices). You’ll also have more energy (you have no idea how much the “eliminate” foods slow you down – for example, white sugar and white flour are devoid of nutrients, and what’s worse, is that when you eat them, they actually take nutrients out of your body in order for your system to process  them – seriously), you’ll feel much fresher and lighter, and most importantly, it will set you up in a healthy zone for spring and summer (and your bikini).

Red meat and other processed meats
White flour – white sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta, cous cous
Refined sugar – cakes, pasties, lollies, chocolate (ouch)
Processed and packaged foods, especially with preservatives, flavours or colours (look on the back for numbers)
Artificial sweetener (aka poison)
Fried, heavy and fatty foods

Food to reduce
Dairy (switch at least half of your dairy intake with soy or rice milk products). Plain, unsweetened yoghurt with live cultures is fine (good for you in fact).
Caffeine – drink green or white tea instead of coffee and black tea
Eggs – 3-4 per week are fine, but try to make them organic
Salt (sea salt ok)
Bread – wholemeal or spelt sourdough ok
Starchy high GI veggies like potatoes
Chicken – organic chicken once or twice a week is fine

Food to increase
Fish (steamed and baked best)
Nuts and seeds
Fruit and veggies
Vegetable protein; lentils, chickpeas, navy beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, tofu
Whole grains; brown rice, quinoa, oats, spelt, buckwheat, millet
Make smoothies as breakfast/snacks or meal replacements; banana, spinach, cos lettuce and apple juice makes a delicious smoothie. I’ve been making them every day lately for breakfast. Yum.

Other stuff to do to increase benefits
Drink hot water and juice of ½ a lemon in the morning (great detoxifier and also kick starts digestion)
Drink loads and loads of water and herbal tea to flush out toxins. Aim for 30mls per day for every kilogram of body weight. 

Try a colonic - see my (rather graphic) post about colonic hydrotherapy
Do some cardio – sweat out toxins
Have a steam or sauna
Meditation – detox your thoughts too
Try some yoga
Also consider
Eat slowly and chew thoroughly – this alone can make an enormous difference
Eat mindfully – give meal times your full attention
Eat a little less than normal – you’ll be surprised at how you don’t need to eat as much as you think you do
That’s it. Pretty easy. I’ll be doing this for the next 3 weeks. Come along for the ride.