What You Should Eat While on Your Period

What You Should Eat While on Your Period

The menstrual cycle can be hard. Do you get extremely irritated by things that usually would not bother you? Your hormones are to blame! Our hormones definitely impact our bodies in many different ways. Between the bloating, the cramping, the cravings, and the mood swings, that time of the month is usually not the best week in any woman’s life. Still, you don’t have to let these problems control your life.

Lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. To get through your menstrual cycle with much less stress, scroll through to find out the best foods to focus on while you are on your period. As a registered dietitian, I will give you some tricks about which foods to eat and avoid during your period.

What You Should Eat While on Your Period

Here are a few tips to modify your diet:

 1. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Women tend to crave junk food before and during their period due to the fluctuation in hormones. Most women are well aware that processed sweets are not great, but anyone who has experienced a sugar craving before their period will tell you it is tough to make smarter choices.

There are options that give us the opportunity to fight sugar cravings. For instance, dark chocolate is a great treat while on your period.

  • Try creating a combination of dark chocolate and almonds!

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and magnesium, which reduces mood swings by regulating serotonin.  Make sure you find the highest percent dark chocolate in the store. The higher the better, because it won’t contain as much sugar.

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, which can also relieve period cramps. As you know, processed snacks are pumped full of added sugars.

Swapping sugar for natural alternatives like dates or prunes would be a great idea for fighting sugar cravings. They are definitely something to consider if you’re looking to swap out anything processed.

  • It is time to get creative, try to add dates or prunes to your diet by creating new recipes at home.

  2. Focus on Drinking Plenty of Water

Sugary, carbonated drinks like soda contribute to bloating. Avoid sparkling water too. Just like soda, the carbonation will increase bloating.

Drink plenty of water while you are on your period

Caffeine is also one of the main foods to avoid during your period. When you have caffeine, it increases your bloating discomfort and irritates your uterus, which worsens your cramps. Stick to water instead! Upping your water intake will actually ease bloating.

Make sure you keep track of your water consumption throughout the day by using Vivoo Home Urine Test Sticks

Related: The Ultimate Guide to How Much Water You Need to Drink

3. Load Up Calcium

Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat on your period, as it is a good source of calcium. Consuming calcium reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, which can prevent mood swings. You can increase calcium intake by adding yogurt to your diet.

What You Should Eat While on Your Period

  • Try yogurt parfaits, they are actually a very healthy option for breakfast and snacks. If you are looking for a non-dairy source of calcium, try broccoli or kale instead. Any food that contains calcium can be considered a helpful food for your menstrual cycle.

   4. Get Magnesium Boost 

Research shows that magnesium helps relieve PMS symptoms such as headaches and cramps. Whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to reduce muscle tension as well as mood swings. Also, bananas and peanuts are one of the best mood-boosting foods, which are rich in potassium and magnesium.

get magnesium boost with banana while you are on your period

  • Try starting your day with a bowl of whole-wheat breakfast cereals or muesli, then have a light snack with a banana and a handful of peanuts. It’s that easy to increase our magnesium levels, and start feeling better fast!

 5. Maximize Your Dietary Iron Intake

Women’s nutritional needs change during menstruation. Women need more iron than men to make up for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. Around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding. The best source of iron is red meat. There are smaller amounts of chicken and fish too.

Iron intake importance while you are on your period

  • If you don’t consume meat, be sure to choose leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens to replenish your body’s iron supply.

Please share your feedback below about your experience and your choice of food during your period.

Take Vivoo of yourself!

 

Related: What Can I Do to Relieve Cramps and PMS?

 

Negativity Harms Your Body, Your Mind and Unfortunately, Your Life

Negativity Harms Your Body, Your Mind and Unfortunately, Your Life

  • I like myself just the way I am.
  • I am satisfied with my body, I do not need to change anything in my body.
  • I have a sense of balance in my life, I feel comfortable and my work does not stress me out.
  • I feel that I take care of myself very well.

If at least one of the statements above is true for you, then you do not need to read the rest. If none of these expressions fit you, I would advise you to continue reading the article.

Negativity Harms Your Body, Your Mind and Unfortunately, Your Life

How Emotions Affect Your Health

The relationship between mind and body is stronger than we thought. Most of the experts nowadays think that negative emotions and stress are some of the main causes of all diseases. The habit of thinking negatively also contributes to the endless cycle of chronic stress, which has a profound effect on our lives. Under chronic stress, your nervous system loses its balance. The nervous system balance between the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system is now shifting to the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system helps you to rest, sleep, digest, and to heal, while the sympathetic one activates your nervous system’s “fight or flight” response. Chronic stress makes it very difficult for you to rest and feed your body by keeping you angry.

There are many studies showing that emotions affect not only your mind but your whole body.

When you are angry, for example, your body is stressed, your digestive organs become hardened, your heartbeats accelerate, and your chin and facial muscles strain. When the stress is chronic it leads to a danger signal which blocks the blood flow to your brain, your immune system and your digestive system. In this case, blood flow turns to your legs for escaping from danger. So your digestive system cannot function properly, your immune system cannot protect you, and your brain cannot think clearly. Well, if negative emotions and stress affect your health so much, what should you do?

Negativity Harms Your Body, Your Mind and Unfortunately, Your Life

It is Necessary to Get Rid of Negative Emotions for Body and Mind Integrity

According to the studies investigating the link between body and mind, our mental state affects our sickness or healing. Many of these studies show that anger, stress, fear, jealousy, hatred, and hopelessness weaken the immune system, cause illness and premature aging. Negative emotions are weakening your health and its proved scientifically. You must first get rid of the effects of these negative emotions in order to protect or regain your health.

For the integrity of your body and mind, you need to get this chronic emotional burden off your mind as soon as possible. You should look closely at your lifestyle, your daily choices, and your thinking habits for this.

Stay with health and love.

 

Related: 10 Self-Care Strategies to Help Manage Your Depression

 

5 Healthy Snacks to Beat Afternoon Cravings at Work

5 Healthy Snacks to Beat Afternoon Cravings at Work

In recent years, everyone has become aware of the benefits of snack meals. They are not only necessary for losing weight, but also essential for feeling good and dealing with long work hours. Most of us feel our energy waning around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m on workdays. But it can be hard to come up with healthy and creative options for snack meals to replenish energy. So if you’re tired of constantly eating walnuts and hazelnuts, check out these 5 healthy snack alternatives which are easy to find and prepare:

1. I don’t have time to prepare anything.

Convenient, pre-packaged foods can be your savior for healthy snack, but you should read the labels very carefully because today’s supermarkets are full of unhealthy industrial foods. You should choose healthy snacks without sugar or food preservatives and with at least 3 grams of protein. An energy bar with about 100-400 Kcal (you can choose your snacks’ calorie count based on your current weight and your target weight) is generally the best choice. When you are bored at the office during the afternoon, stay away from the nearest chocolate wafers. Instead, give the coffee and energy bar duo a try. You will observe your work performance by getting better.

healthy snack

  2. It’s really hot out there! Give me some refreshing healthy desserts! 

If you have never tried making ice cream at home you may think that it is tasteless and hard to prepare. Give it a chance; you will see how delicious it is even without sugar! Slice 1 medium-sized banana, put it in a plastic bag, and let it rest in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the banana slices are frozen, toss them in the blender and add 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of cocoa, and a few hazelnuts.

  3. I’ve been feeling very hungry lately, and the usual snacks just don’t fill me up.

When the usual snacks just don’t cut it, it’s time to seek out an option with more protein, such as a sandwich with spreadable curd cheese and smoked turkey slices on rye or whole-grain bread. You can add some avocado too if you are very hungry. This sandwich contains about 8-10 grams of protein and is a great snack to carry to work in your bag. Have a sparkling mineral soda with it for a refreshing twist; you will not feel hungry until dinner time!

  4. Yogurt + Granola Mix 

Here is another easy option that you can prepare at home or at the office. Mix together a small portion of yogurt (you can have probiotics if you choose) and sugar-free granola. If you prefer, instead of granola you can prepare yourself a portion of muesli mix: 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of raisins, 5-6 raw almonds, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

healthy snack

5. Fave Couple: Milk Coffee and Dark Chocolate 

Sometimes you may not feel very hungry during snack time and think that just drinking some coffee is enough. But, it’s easy to be tempted by the little treats that we often eat alongside coffee, such as donuts, pastries, or chocolates. Every now and then we all make excuses such as, “It’s just a small piece, so it’s okay.”Here’s a healthy suggestion: You can have 1-2 small pieces of dark chocolate alongside a cup of coffee with plain, soy, or almond milk. This combination will trigger the happiness hormone (serotonin) thanks to the magnesium in the dark chocolate, but you won’t be consuming the extra fat of other kinds of chocolates or sweets.

 

The Most Popular Low-Calorie Summer Drink: Smoothie

The Most Popular Low-Calorie Summer Drink: Smoothie

Recently smoothie has become everyone’s favorite drink. They’re a good alternative beverage, especially for people who are dieting or detoxing, because they have fewer calories than other beverages and are refreshing in hot weather. Smoothies are favorites for vegans and vegetarians too. And anyone can enjoy smoothies for their joyful colors and refreshing taste.

Smoothies:

  • Are low-calorie
  • Refresh your body
  • Are nourishing
  • Have many antioxidants
  • Are hydrating
  • Are a healthy snack which is easy to prepare
  • Create joyful snack times due to color

5 Tips for a Healthier Smoothie

Green smoothie

1. Fruit Instead of Sugar

Fruits include a natural form of sugar known as ‘fructose’. Adding fruit to sweeten your smoothie instead of sugar is a good idea. But don’t forget to check the serving sizes for the fruits you’re using.

2. Summer Fruits

In summer we need more water than we drink normally. Summer fruits are perfect to hydrate your body because of their high percentages of water. Adding watermelon to a smoothie is a great choice for summer!

Summer Berries for a Yummy Smoothie

3. Berries and Cherries 

Berries (goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, bilberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.) and cherries are extremely high in antioxidants. Daily intake can greatly benefit your health, especially in the areas of heart health, cholesterol level, cellular oxidative damage, and many more. Try adding berries and cherries to make your smoothie healthier.

 4. Leafy Green Vegetables

Adding leafy green vegetables such as parsley, fresh mint, and dill makes your smoothie fresher. These kinds of vegetables increase the antioxidant level of your drink and help to reduce the swelling of your body. Also, these are a great choice for women during their periods.

The Most Popular Low-Calorie Summer Drink: Smoothie

5. Dairy Products

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to consume milk products because they need more calcium for healthy growth. Preparing colorful smoothies with milk can be fun for both parents and children. Many children will be willing to drink milk in their smoothies even they generally don’t like milk.

Also, fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir help to regulate the digestive system. If you have digestive system problems, try adding kefir to your smoothie. Everyone has their own taste preferences. But with these tips, you can prepare your own smoothie and be more energetic for the day. To conclude, here is Vivoo Nutrition Team’s favorite summer smoothie recipe:

Watermelon Smoothie for Summer

A Summer Recipe: Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh watermelon (cubed and black seeds removed)

1 cup kefir (250 ml)

10-12 leaves fresh mint

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth
  • You can add more kefir to thin, or more strawberries to thicken.
  • Taste and find what needs to be added. You can add lime for acidity, sweetener for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor.
  • Serves 2 / Calories for one serving: 140

Related: 8 Reasons Why You Feel Always Hungry

runner

The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

Common mistakes made when starting an exercise routine are goals that are impossible to reach, and sufficient time to reach these goals. First, you must set a healthy and reasonable goal, and determine the time to achieve this goal.

In the beginning, we all have more than enough motivation, confidence, and enthusiasm. After a week or two of exercising, the confidence and enthusiasm leave their places to boredom and weariness. With the loss of motivation, the exercise and diet routine starts to be disrupted, and another attempt of living healthier comes to the inevitable end: “Giving up”.

During the process, great challenges are waiting for you.

You should know that if it was easy everyone would do it. If you really want to achieve your goals, stop expecting your body and your biological mechanisms to do impossible things.

The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

We will set realistic goals.

We will set the correct time expectations for these goals. By giving priority to your favorite exercises we will make exercise and fitness a part of your life, not a period in your life. In this process, you will proceed with patience, determination, awareness, with the professionals of the subject if possible, and most importantly, without pushing your health to the background.

On the way to your goals, doing interlude controls and tracking are the golden keys to success. Even if you see your progress with your own eyes, your success will be guaranteed if you track the quality of the changes in your body caused by exercising and diet in detail with different methods and numbers. Not everyone can have the chance of using the fat-muscle analysis tools in sports centers and private establishments, therefore, it would be wise to use the up-to-date economical alternative methods.

Exercise to reach your goals

The urinalysis bar you will use at home, which Vivoo offers personally, will guide you to follow your progress. In the light of your results, it even makes suggestions to change your diet and works as a reminder during the day, if needed. We all need a coach for motivation in such hard times. We should benefit from recent scientific developments and make our efforts easier.

Vivoo: Learn Your Body's Needs with Home Urine Test Strips

There are different methods if you choose to base your measurements on your exercise performance.

If you wish, you can do a performance test. You’ll see how many times you can do the ‘burpee’ exercise in 30 seconds. It makes all your body muscles work. Once, you have warmed up for your workout at the beginning of every wee and then, test how many ‘burpees’ you can do while keeping the right form and keep track of it.

You will see that your efforts are never futile, you will begin every week with more motivation and determination.

I wish you all a healthy and successful month.

 

The Ultimate Guide to How Much Water You Need to Drink

The Ultimate Guide to How Much Water You Need to Drink

There are many different opinions about how much water we should be drinking every day. One of the most popular ones is to drink 8 glasses of a day (which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon). This advice is actually a myth.

There’s really no standard amount of water that’s recommended for all people at all times. It can vary from person to person and depends on many factors. An individual’s fluid needs can change due to exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

There’s no doubt about it: Drinking enough water is very important for your overall health.

Our bodies need water for several reasons:

  • Digesting food
  • Physical performance
  • Brain function
  • Relieving constipation
  • Weight loss

6 Tips for Being “Water Wise”

Water makes up about 60-70% of your body weight, and every part of your body needs it to function properly. Lack of water alone can cause body systems to slow down and cause you to feel sluggish, tired, and irritable. Keep your body healthy by being “water-wise.” This means drinking the right amount of water for you.

If you need some extra help consuming enough water, check out these tips for drinking more:

  • Add flavor to your water
  • Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Drink water instead of another beverage while out to eat
  • Make water part of your night out
  • Set a timer so you’ll remember to drink

The Ultimate Guide to How Much Water You Need to Drink

Tracking Your Water Intake

The color of your urine can reveal a lot about the state of your health. Urine can change colors depending on what you are eating, how hydrated you are, and any medications you are taking. Urine color will also allow you to assess your water intake. For Instance, light color is always better than a dark color and when your urine turns dark that means you are dehydrated.

An even better way to track your water intake is by measuring urine density using Vivoo which is the high-tech, fashionable wellness app that can help you keep track of your water consumption and more. Understand the voice of your body using the Vivoo app!  We will tell you how much water you should drink for your body to work properly and advise you about healthy choices you can make based on urine strip testing.

How can you track water consumption with VIVOO?

With 4 easy steps, you can start a healthier lifestyle! If you are trying to figure out how much water you should drink, try Vivoo! Make sure you drink enough throughout the day. Let’s stop wasting time and get started!

First Step: Get Your Urine Strip

Urine is a useful tool for understanding a lot about the human body. A urine test strip is the quickest way to test urine. The test strip which has small square color fields containing reactants on it, is dipped into the urine sample for a few seconds. The results appear after a few minutes. Depending on the concentration of the particular substance you are testing for, the fields on the test strip change color.

Second Step: Use Your Phone

To determine your urine test results; simply scan the strip using the Vivoo app.

Third Step: Receive Personalized Advice

Advice from the Vivoo App can help improve your health. In a matter of seconds, Vivoo can detect several parameters from your urine such as water consumption, infection, kidney & liver functions, and more. Vivoo’s wellness tips are based on your test results and are unique to you.

Let’s drink a glass of water and download the Vivoo App?

Related: What Is Vivoo Water Box

 

Yoga: Beyond Aesthetic Instagram Asana Posts

Yoga: Beyond Aesthetic Instagram Asana Posts

In the Western world thanks to social media, yoga is mostly recognized by asana (yoga posture). In many countries, yoga does not exceed the boundaries of the physical body practices. Are yoga’s essence, philosophy, and intention limited by the posture? What is yoga? Why do people do yoga, go to yoga lessons, or become yoga instructors?

For thousands of years sages, hermits, and seekers of knowledge in the East. They reached different levels of consciousness by way of deep meditation and contemplation. Vedic knowledge (Vedas), inner visions, and myths that contain the knowledge of existence in itself. Such as the Bhagavad Gita, slowly began to feed society and become part of collective consciousness. Patanjali collected all the known information about yoga in the Yoga Sutras around the years 200-300 BC.

Yoga means “yuj” or “unity”

It is a system that aims to unify the individual with other humans and with all life forms of the world. With the inner space, with the invisible, and with the infinite and inexperienced formless one. It is a lifestyle, an attitude, a perspective, and a way of understanding which stands high upon eight great limbs. In the Yoga Sutras, these eight limbs brought thousands of years of work together for the first time.

Let’s take a look at them.

yoga: asana posts

 1. Yamas: Ethical and Universal Standards

Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

Ahimsa means non-violence in words, thoughts, deeds, and intentions. This non-violence is an area that begins with the person and extends through all of existence. From social interactions to your inner relationship with yourself, it is a very valuable point of view. It includes many choices from being a vegetarian to holding no grudges. When practicing Asana, it can be interpreted as embracing your body, your mind, and your feelings with compassion and avoiding compulsions that might hurt you.

Satya (Truth)

Satya means truth. It teaches speaking the truth and avoiding lies. It teaches finding your own truth, mission, and purpose for life and living according to them. In the practice of asana, Satya means knowing the limits of your anatomy, psychology, emotions, and many other things and practicing according to your truths.

Asteya (Non-Stealing)

Asteya means not stealing any property, money, or ideas. Not taking anything that is not given and not forcing others to take anything. Swami Sivananda says, “Desire or want is the root cause for stealing.” When we steal anything, including time, energy, happiness, property, promotions, money, ideas, love, or dreams, that means we actually lack what we steal.

Having no trust for the natural system or the perfection and authenticity of existence; not feeling any excitement for the path which the soul is meant to discover may reveal the jealous mask of ego and generate feelings of injustice. In asana practice, asteya involves not stealing breath or effort from others while practicing a pose and not comparing yourself with others and thus stealing value from your own pose. It also means not separating yourself from the moment of practice with your mind by projecting yourself to other times and places and instead of being able to experience the moment of practice to the fullest.

Brahmacharya (Using Energy for Unity)

Brahmacharya is working for unification. It’s being able to live for everyone in society, taking your worldviews outside your home to the world, and focusing on a certain subject to expand your creative energy. It means not being a slave to your emotions and instincts, especially lust, and keeping the level of focus you want. It is the use of sexual energy with love rather than judgment or negative emotions. When practicing asana, brahmacharya is being able to value all parts of the flow equally and see it as a whole.

Aparigraha (Non-Grasping)

Aparigraha means non-grasping. Grasping for a person, a dogma, a look, or anything else in this world that is centered around change and temporariness keeps us away from new things that will make our lives more colorful. It blocks learning by causing us to become stuck in certain parts of our lives. Aparigraha includes staying away from ambition, greed, and excessiveness. In the practice of asana, aparigraha is approaching your practice with respect, sparing some time and space for yourself, not obsessing over asanas, and not making strict habits.

yoga niyamas

2. Niyamas: Reference Points for Self Discipline and Spiritual Enlightenment

Saucha (Cleanliness)

Saucha teaches being clean in body, mind, emotions, and energy, purifying yourself in these four areas with intentions and practices for living a better life. It is the practice of asana as a clean and pure whole, creating a zone of clarity reaching from your yoga mat to your heart.

Santosha (Contentment)

 Santosha is knowing that the condition you are in is the best combination for you and acting according to the knowledge that something is “for you” rather than “to you”. Knowing what is in your way, what is good for you, and having a calm inner world are all parts of it. In asana practice, it is accepting the limitations of your body with love and celebrating your current state in the practice.

Tapas (Fire)

Tapas derives from the Sanskrit word “tap” or “fire”. It means work, discipline, and burning everything which keeps us away from real yoga. It’s the the state of being one with the universe. In asana practice, it means working with the Agni of the body (the energy of the fire element), going beyond Agni, and keeping the passion of regular practice alive.

Svadhyaya (Introspection)

Svadhyaya is the heart of yoga and its deepest stand. It is the knowledge of one’s self by way of introspection. It requires knowing the reasons behind your reactions and the meanings behind your words, your emotions, your judgments, and your mental patterns. Real freedom is freeing the self from the past and the webs of the mind. In yoga asana practice, it is accepting the movements as reference points and therefore recognizing the person who makes and applies those forms. Recognizing who that person is, what that person is, what mental or psychological state that person is in, and what the condition of that person’s self-relationship is through these movements.

Ishvara Pranidhana (The Power to Surrender)

“Ishvara” means “God” in Sanskrit, “Pranidhana” means “devotion and surrendering”. This is the walk of a person on the path of yoga into the unity, the universe, the God, or the truth. In yoga asana practice, it is the practice of the pose for reaching beyond the perception of self, rather than practicing the pose for the pose itself.

 

yoga: asana posture

3. Asana (Posture)

Asana refers to the yoga postures. Today, yoga is best known for its asana practice. As told in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, asanas are movements that are taken from nature itself or from the movements of other living beings and practiced by yogis.

Asanas have effects on all four bodies: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

There are many uses of asanas for the physical body such as softening the muscles that regulate blood flow, improving joint capacity by relieving the spinal cord through opening the vertebrae and improving lung capacity through weight control. The association of asanas with the hormonal system comes from the ability to regulate the nervous system. In regular breathing and movement, the body reduces levels of adrenaline and cortisol and increases serotonin, oxytocin, and melatonin secretions.

“Yoga Chitta vritti nirodha” or “Yoga relaxes the fluctuations on the waters of the mind” is the most meaningful sentence that comes to us from the Sutras and shows the effects of yoga on the mental body (mind). During a yoga lesson, and especially at the end of the lesson and afterward, the mind is very calm, and you can enjoy hours of deep relaxation. Yoga improves healing, health, and feelings in all bodies; cleans blockages in the meridians, nadis, and energy lines; and balances the flow overall.

Flexibility

Today, thanks to the influence of the capitalist system and the search for eternal love in the practice of asana. Both instructors and students are trying to achieve the “necessary” flexibility, strength, mobility, and balance by practicing, but in a very human way. Causing them to sometimes miss the real purpose: a deeper contact with the inner world. If we remain attached to aesthetic concerns, such as being able to achieve a posture or not being able to do so, the mind becomes solid, and the practice becomes a boring routine. The mind finds something to fight and lose again. And the invisible part remains secondary and forgotten.

We know the saying “Sthira-sukham asanam” from the Sutras, which means that asanas are patience and comfort. It describes both the state of our inner being and the experience of the body in a posture or in a variation based on our own limits and the level of our practice. It means to be rooted in our innermost area, where both the body is pleased with the mind and the mind is pleased with the body. In this way, the body is there to support a clean, clear, open, and free mind.

 

yoga mat

4. Pranayama (Energy / Breath Control)

Prana is the Sanskrit word that refers to chi, the vital energy. According to yogis, there are two large energy channels starting from the tail. And, it ends reaching the two nostrils: Ida and Pingala. If these two channels, as well as the right and left hemispheres of the brain, the masculine, and feminine energies, and all other things, are in balance; then energy rises along the Sushumna channel up and down the middle line.

Prayanama involves taking high amounts of energy into the body in different forms and intentions through breathing practices. Such as cleaning, purifying, and focusing. For this, three diaphragm locks, as well as certain body shapes, certain breathing speeds, and certain breathing techniques are applied.

5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal)

Pratyahara is being able to examine the inner world with a distance from the external world by turning all the senses inwards. It’s the controlling ahara (food / external factors) or, in other words, gaining control over the external factors.

Yogis turn themselves inwards to gain a stable power, rather than taking their power from ever-changing external factors, looks, and pleasures. Afterward, all that introspection turns into a garden of happiness and inner peace. The external factors no longer affect the yogi.

There are 3 levels of aharas in the yogic system.

The first one is our food in physical terms. We feed our bodies on 5 elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

There are “impressions”  which feed the mind on the second level. Such as sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell perceptions. And they match with the subtle presence of each other; sound matches with ether, touch matches with air, sight matches with fire, taste matches with water, and smell matches with the earth. On the third level of ahara, there are “ties”. The people we keep in our lives and in our hearts feed the soul and affect us with 3 basic gunas. They are – sattva (harmony), rajas (distraction), and tamas (laziness).

Pratyahara has two faces simultaneously

Avoiding bad or inappropriate food and impressions and eating the right foods and having the right impressions and ties. We cannot provide ourselves with mental impressions without having a proper diet, proper friendships, and properties. But, pratyahara’s primary emphasis comes from being able to stay away from sensory impressions and pleasures or being able to control them; this allows the mind to leave them outside and turn inside.

As we stay away from negative and low vibrational impressions, pratyahara increases the immunity level of mind. A healthy body resists all toxins and pathogens. It wants to throw them back out when they try to invade. Likely, a healthy mind is actually strengthened against negative thoughts and external influences around it. Therefore, if you feel that you are stressed by external construction sounds, crying children, or car horns, practicing pratyahara could be the right step for you.

Yoga: Beyond Aesthetic Instagram Asana Posts

Going Beyond With Control

Patanjali suggests that the last three steps of yoga should be grouped together since they are tightly bound together. These are Dharana, Dyana, and Samadhi. This is the part of the road map that emphasizes control and shows the path to nirvana.

6. Dharana

Dharana, or concentration of mind, is the unity of the mind with the object through intense focus on one object. It can be an external object such as a flower or a candle. Or it can be something internal such as chakra or an organ. Usually, this is practiced in yoga when instructors tell their students to “focus on the breath” or “follow the flow of the breath.”

7. Dyana 

Dyana is turning the concentration from the single object towards the whole existence, the whole perceived area. Therefore, the concentration becomes one that is unlimited and all-embracing. This removes the limits of the physical area in which one can express the self. In this step we experience our true selves in a way that is beyond human.

8. Samadhi 

Samadhi is a state of complete unity with existence, the creator, and everything.

In a Nutshell

These are the precious steps that yoga stands on. Both progressing in order and open at the same time to the practitioner. It is not easy to share all of this in a yoga lesson while simultaneously respecting the limits, sensitivities, and well-being of many bodies since there are many thoughts, perspectives, and volumes of books behind them. As yoga instructors, we actually pass through different steps in every lesson by sharing questions and thoughts with our students.

My suggestion to anyone who has been doing yoga or is just starting out is to take some quiet time for yourself every day. We do not have two ears and one mouth for nothing: Listen.

Stay silent and listen to what is beyond.

If you wish to join, let’s listen together with shapes, ideas, utterances, and feelings.

 

Related: Yoga and Menstruation: Poses to Avoid and Poses that Help

 

Nutrition During Menopause

Nutrition During Menopause

Menopause is the time when menstrual periods stop in a woman’s life. The ovaries no longer release eggs. Unfortunately, in our country, menopause is seen as taboo, and many women suppress this period in their lives, acting as if it is not happening or as if they have never or will never experience it. Nutrition during menopause is a very important issue and we should more emphasis on it. The slowing metabolism and the hormonal shifts in the system cause a lot of change in a woman’s body. Especially around the age of 40, excess fats begin to cluster around the waist, but people usually do not associate this with premenopause. However, the body does not suddenly enter menopause; the changes take years. Many scientific studies show the importance of a proper diet before and nutrition during menopause.

Research results on women who follow the Mediterranean diet and enter menopause:

  • It has been found that women who consume unrefined grains (whole grains, rye, oatmeal) and legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils) are less likely to become obese during the menopause period; those who consume refined grains (white bread, pasta, noodles, white rice) are more inclined to become obese.
  • It has been observed that consuming high amounts of red meat and potatoes is related to obesity rates. Consuming high amounts of nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, walnuts) and drinking tea/coffee also triggers obesity in this period.

The results of another study which took place in England are striking. The study shows that what we eat is related to the time we enter menopause.

These are the results:

  • Eating high amounts of oily fishes and fresh legumes can delay menopause by around 3.3 years.
  • Consuming high amounts of pasta and white rice is a factor that can cause menopause to start earlier by about 1.5 years.

Nutrition During Menopause

It is very important to acquire healthy eating behaviors during this period. As technology develops, work that takes advantage of the positive aspects of technology is also increasing. In another study, researchers sent messages to menopausal women about “nutrition advice and information.” As a result of these messages, it was observed that the women’s consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and the consumption of fish, which is very important in this period, increased.

One of the problems women face during menopause is osteoporosis (bone erosion).

During menopause, bone loss reaches its fastest stage, due to dropping estrogen levels. Osteoporosis affects 200 million women around the world; it affects 1 out of 10 around age 60, 1 out of 5 around age 70, 2 out of 5 around age 80, and 2 out of 5 around age 90. To solve this problem, healthy and proper nutrition during menopause is important once more. Proper nutrition during menopause and fitness are critical not only for weight but also for bone health in this period and even before the beginning of menopause.

Vitamins and minerals are also key. Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are the leading vitamins and minerals for bone health. They all work synchronously; one being absent or in excess will affect the others as well. Vitamin D is a vitamin that plays an important role in the absorption of calcium. It is an essential vitamin to prevent osteoporosis in this period. The greatest source of vitamin D is the sun. Calcium is not only found in milk. Dairy products (cheese, yogurt), dark green colored vegetables (black cabbage), broccoli, almonds, and some fishes (sardines) are all strong sources of calcium. Do not forget to have appropriate medical tests done under the supervision of your doctor.

Nutrition in menopause

There are also challenges women to face that affect their quality of life during this period.

There are studies that suggest that flaxseed is effective for reducing some symptoms that lower quality of life, such as menstrual cramps, but there are also studies that suggest it has no effect. It can’t hurt to try it. In the end, things that are natural will not hurt you if you don’t use them excessively.

Did you know that women in the Far East are 8 times less likely to have menstrual cramps?

Some authorities emphasize the important role of nutrition during menopause in avoiding this problem. In Japan, women see the period as a form of “rebirth,” and they do not even have a word for menopause in Japanese. In contrast, in our culture, people think that menopause is a very difficult period for women because they do not know how to face hormonal changes.

Nutrition During Menopause

Exercising during this period is very important for combating weight gain, for improving bone health, and for decreasing the likelihood of heart diseases.

292 studies have found that exercising is a protective factor against obesity during menopause. Recently, when I was exercising with my dear trainer, he gave me the following advice for hard times: “Success is no coincidence. You should work hard to make your dreams come true”. After hearing this, I continued my exercise with determination. Working out is just as important as proper nutrition to overcome both the hormonal and mental changes.

In order to meet menopause as smoothly as possible and reduce fat in the waist region, a.k.a. the “menopause bandage”, try to prioritize healthy eating habits and fitness starting from the age of 40. Of course, if you pay attention to these two things, you will be much healthier all the time, but if you have not done so before, perhaps you can decide to take a new step right now. Don’t forget: Lying down does not accomplish anything, but taking action does.

 

Related: 4 Steps For a Healthier Diet

Emotional Eating Is Not the Solution

Emotional Eating Is Not the Solution

I keep eating even when I’m full.

I always feel a need to eat. I always keep some snacks nearby.

I never feel full. I feel like I am going to feel weak if I don’t eat.

I only feel happy when I eat. The only thing I enjoy in my life is eating. What would I do without it?

Sound familiar? If so, ask yourself these questions:

What do I feel when I need to eat? What emotion do I feel when I crave food?

Do I eat when I’m angry, anxious, or stressed?

Do I eat to fight boredom?

Do I eat to fight loneliness?

Do I eat to reward myself?

Do I eat because I don’t know how to deal with negative emotions?

Do I feed my body or my emotions? 

Emotional eating is a defense mechanism against stress

Emotional eating is a defense mechanism against stress.

Constant eating is a way to deal with negative emotions, just like all other addictions. Overeating causes unintended results such as weight gain and health problems. Weight is actually not the problem itself, but rather is a symptom. This symptom is a reflection of other problems that lie deep inside. Just like drinking and smoking, eating can also suppress your worries temporarily. How many times have you visited the fridge even though you are not hungry? Why did you do so? To avoid a problem? To soothe your stress? Everybody has difficulties in life. The important thing, however, is how you deal with them. Even if your relationship with eating hasn’t been very healthy up until now, you can still change it now. Let’s take a look at the path you can take to end emotional eating:

Be aware of your eating habits.

In order to solve your emotional eating problems, you must first recognize your eating habits. What time do you eat the most during the day? Do you eat more when bored or alone? Do your food choices usually include high-calorie foods or sweets? How big are your portions? Do you hurry when eating? Where is your mind while eating?

Stop conditioning happiness with food

Stop conditioning happiness with food.

Similar to other addictions, constant eating stimulates the reward mechanism in the brain. The short-termed feeling of relief when eating causes the pattern to repeat: Negative emotions to trigger the same behavior later on. Continuing like this will cause you to feel happy only when eating. In order to break the “food equals happiness” conditioning in the brain, you should explore other ways of handling stress such as exercising, focusing on things other than eating, or spending more time with the people you love.

Face your negative feelings.

The real function of emotional eating is to avoid facing negative feelings. Going on like this does not help with the problem and may cause you to gain weight or experience health problems. Eating sweets or high-calorie foods can relieve you temporarily, but your relationship with eating will become more and more unhealthy unless you find the source of the problem. Practicing introspection, trying to understand your negative emotions, and expressing learning to express them in a healthy way are the first steps to overcoming this problem. You can also consider psychological counseling from an expert.

Make peace with yourself and your body

Make peace with yourself and your body.

As with many psychological problems, emotional eating is caused by a distortion of your relationship with yourself. Hating yourself and your body not only does not solve the problem but is actually the source of the problem itself. Eating to escape problems or lack of love is like force-feeding a baby who actually wants attention. It is not possible to lead a healthy life without love and trust. If you give these to yourself first, you will see that those around you will change and become more loving and trusting. Loving and trusting yourself is a wonderful present to give yourself and those around you!

Don’t forget that a healthy and joyful life begins with the relationship that you build with yourself. Don’t hesitate to seek support in this matter.

Wishing you love and good health with Vivoo.

4 Ketogenic Diet Dessert Recipes

4 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes

As we all know thanks to its recent trendiness, the ketogenic diet involves reducing carbohydrate intake and feeding on high fat and protein content. That’s why people on the ketogenic diet remove desserts and high-sugar foods from their lives during the diet. Brownies? Cheesecakes? Believe it or not, it’s possible to make these desserts sugar-free and also compatible with your ketogenic diet. (Diabetics can also benefit from these recipes by making calorie calculations.) Here are 4 delicious dessert recipes that will help satisfy your sweet tooth while on the keto diet.

 

Keto diet for beginners avocado brownies

1-    AVOCADO BROWNIES

Wet Ingredients

2 ripe (250 g) avocados

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp refined coconut oil

100 g melted dark chocolate

Dry Ingredients

90 g blanched almond flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp stevia powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup erythritol

flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

-Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F and line a square pan with parchment paper.

-Peel the avocados, place in a blender or food processor, process until smooth.

-Add each wet ingredient one at a time and process for a few seconds until all of the wet ingredients have been added to the food processor.

-In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients except flaky sea salt and whisk together.

-Add dry ingredients to the food processor and mix until all of them are combined.

-Transfer batter to prepared baking pan and smooth top with a spatula. Top with flaky sea salt, if using.

Bake until brownies are soft but not at all wet to the touch, 30-35 minutes. Let cool 25 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips

Be careful when mixing the warm ingredients with the eggs. Avoid cooking the eggs.

You can add some walnuts, groundnuts, etc., in the mixture if you want it to.

Keto diet recipes

2- LEMON BARS

Ingredients

-1/2 cup butter, melted

-1 3/4 cups almond flour

-1 cup powdered erythritol

-3 medium lemons

-3 large eggs

Directions

-Mix the butter, 1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup erythritol, and a pinch of salt.

-Press evenly into a parchment paper-lined baking dish.

-Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C / 350°F

-Let cool for 10 minutes.

-Into a bowl, zest one of the lemons, then juice all 3 lemons, add the eggs, 3/4 cup erythritol, 3/4 cup almond flour & pinch of salt. Combine to make the filling.

-Pour the filling onto the crust & bake for 25 minutes.

-Serve with lemon slices and a sprinkle of erythritol.

 

 

ketogenic diet COCONUT FLOUR COOKIES

3- COCONUT FLOUR COOKIES

Ingredients

-1/2 cup peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butter of choice

-2 tablespoons coconut oil

-1/2 cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)

-2 large eggs

-1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

-1/2 cup coconut flour

-1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Directions

– Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

-Place the peanut butter, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth.

-Add the eggs and vanilla and process again until evenly combined.

-Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the top. Sprinkle in the coconut flour. Process again until the mixture forms a smooth dough, stopping to scrape down the ball once or twice as needed. Using a spoon or spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

-With a small cookie scoop or spoon, portion the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. With your fingers, lightly flatten the dough, as it will not spread during baking.

-Bake for 7 minutes or until the cookies turn slightly golden brown at the edges and feel lightly dry. They will be very soft.

-Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough.

COCONUT MOCHA DONUTS

4- COCONUT MOCHA DONUTS

Ingredients

-1/3 cup coconut flour

-4 eggs

-1/4 cup coconut oil

-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

-1 tbsp liquid stevia

-1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)

-1/2 tsp instant coffee granules

-1 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F

-Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well

-Pour mix into a doughnut pan

-Bake for 20 minutes

-Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool.

 

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