Friday, November 25, 2011

What are you really hungry for?

Staying healthy and happy isn’t as simple as counting carbs and calories. The reason we love cleansing so much at Urban Remedy is that it allows you to take some time out from the rat race, to re-centre and examine the areas of your life that are falling short. Are you working too hard? Have you had a few too many beers or champagnes lately? Are you not spending enough time with friends? Have you fallen off the exercise wagon?

According to the lovely folk at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, what we eat is secondary food. The other stuff – career, relationships, spirituality, exercise – is primary food. We believe this is where cleansing plays such a crucial role: by taking the dilemma of secondary food out of the equation, it gives you time to think about the primary food in your life and address the areas you may be lacking in.

Take a look IIN’s nifty little (primary and secondary) food pyramid here.
Now, trace a point in each segment of the ‘circle of life’ below to note how happy you feel about each area in your life. Next, join the dots. The dips in your circle are areas that need some tender loving care. Get onto it.

Here's to a well rounded life!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Urban Remedy 'Easy Guide to Summer'

With summer fast approaching, we’ve narrowed down our 10 top tips to get you feeling and looking great.

1. Drink a glass of warm boiled water first thing in the morning to flush out your lymphatic system – this is an amazing (free) home remedy for combatting cellulite, fluid retention, bloating and enhancing digestion and detoxification. We say boiled as the body can then use it immediately rather than processing (digesting) the mineral content.

2. Hydrate throughout the day: don’t guzzle your 1.5-2L in one sitting. Sip on water throughout the day to stay continuously hydrated. And avoid drinking with meals as this dilutes your digestive juices!

3. Do some gentle weights or toning exercises every morning. You don’t need a gym or even gym gear to do this! Tricep dips on the bath are a sneaky whole-body toning exercise (they get your legs and tum toned too if done correctly). Simply do 2 sets of 25, et voilĂ !

4. Moisturise and protect. If you want to stay youthful and avoid the dreaded leather-face look, moisturising and applying SPF is the ONLY way. Think 15+ not factor 4 coconut oil, unless you’re trying to re-enact a scene from Hot Shots.

5. Fake it to make it. Yep, we’re talking about fake tan. Not the orange kind but a nice subtle hint of summer in a bottle… You can get some pretty good ones now (even organic), either applied in salon or at home. For you Sydney peeps, we like Fleur De Lys MediSpa in Woollahra – $25 tans every Friday, all summer. Yes please.

6. Get 15 minutes of SPF-free sunshine every day to boost your vitamin D levels.

7. Keep it clean throughout the silly season. Make sure your liver is getting the TLC it needs by supplementing with milk thistle and detoxing regularly to avoid toxic overload. We often recommend cleansers with busy social calendars try weekly mini-cleanses throughout December, working their way towards a longer ‘new year cleanse’ in January.

8. Give your summer drinks a makeover. Claire from the Saha Space shared some of her lovely ice tea recipes with us last week. Check them out here. We also recommend choosing your alcoholic mixers carefully – soda water and fresh lime is always a good option. Avoid pre-mixed drinks, soft drinks (even diet), fruit juice (you can bet the stuff at the bar isn’t good for you) and milky cocktails.

9. Avoid yeast and sugar to beat the bloat. We often think wheat/gluten is the culprit (and it is for some people) when in fact it is more likely to be yeast. If you’re OK with pasta but not with bread and pizza, yeast is not your friend. Try sourdough bread if this is the case.

10. Tune in to summer cravings (good ones that is). Fresh fruit, fresh veg, grilled fish, seafood, barbecues… We naturally eat differently according to the season so it’s time to break out of your winter food rut and embrace summer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do your summer drinks need a detox?

This week, we bring you some super tasty recipes from the very lovely Claire Obeid, a Sydney-based yoga teacher, holistic health coach and blogger at the equally lovely Saha Space.

All you need is a big old ice tea jug (Claire recommends one from T2), some basic ingredients and a willing guinea pig to test them on.

1) Ginger, lemon, mint and raw honey

Grate a thumb sized amount of ginger into a 2ltr pot
Boil up water for 15 minutes
Add in 1 tbsp of raw honey (you can use rice syrup or any other healthy/natural sweetener)
Once cooled pour into jug
Serve with a slice of lemon, mint sprigs and ice cubes

2) Rose, cinnamon and apple

Boil up a 2ltr pot of water with cinnamon bark sticks (not the quills for cooking but actual bark)
In jug add in slices of fresh apple and rose bud tea (T2!)
Pour in boiled cinnamon tea
Serve chilled with a dash of cinnamon powder

3) Green tea, mint and lemon

Boil water
In jug add green tea, lemon slices and fresh mint
Pour water in, cool and chill

4) Pomegranate and fresh lime 

Pomegranate concentrate from the health food shop is the best option
Add to 2ltrs of hot water + add fresh juice from 2 limes
Pour into jug and chill
Add in fresh lime slices (and pomegranate seeds if you can find them) to serve on ice

For Claire’s full blog entry (and other posts), check out the Saha Space.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The mind-body cleanse connection: letting go

Have you ever wondered why you suddenly decide it’s time to cleanse? Time to leave behind the old and make a change? Time to purge and renew?

It’s often hard to tell if it’s your body crying out for some much needed TLC, or if you’ve reached a crossroads where it’s time to make a mental or emotional shift. From our lengthy cleansing experience, we would humbly profess that it’s a little bit of both. Our body is nothing short of a miracle, a fine-tuned machine that picks up on subtle changes in its complex internal environment and sends messages to the different organs accordingly, the brain included.

There is no doubt that how we feel physically is linked to how we feel mentally and emotionally. If you hold on to things emotionally, there is a strong likelihood that you hold onto things, well, physically (not to get too graphic). Allergies can often be connected to emotional sensitivity or repression of some description, resulting in skin eruptions, rashes and inflammatory reactions. Nervous dispositions are prone to digestive upsets, bloating and ‘knots’ in the stomach. Fiery and passionate types suffer from heartburn, sweating and excess ‘heat’ in the body.

And what about toxins? They are the prime example of a mind-body connection. We hold onto physical toxins but also emotional ones. Something might happen in your life that you are unable to ‘digest’ or process in a healthy way, resulting in toxic emotions literally backing up in your body. It’s not uncommon for people to cry when they get a colon cleanse – there’s even a word for it, it’s called a ‘release’. Similarly, when you do a juice cleanse, you are sending physical and emotional toxins on their way, clearing your mind and making room for good health.

So if you feel an urge to cleanse, your body and your mind are sending you a signal. It’s time to let go of something, to inspire change, to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Or, if you’re not feeling that deep and meaningful, it could just be time to fit into those skinny jeans again. Amen.