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Good or Bad?

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When we try to discern what’s good and bad for us, sometimes the decision is not always that easy. We think, for example, that coffee is bad. It’s addictive, stains our teeth, increases the release of our stress hormones, causes heartburn… I am sure you have read other reasons why coffee is bad. On the other hand, there are research news stating that coffee actually might not be that bad. Some scientists say that coffee can help with prevention of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and it may also help with lowering depression. It is great to have a lot of information available to us, but when we come across contradicting opinions, how do we decide which side to choose?

Most foods and drinks, I would think, have some good and bad aspects. That also includes kale, which we tend to consider as superfood. The benefits of kale do make up for the bad aspects, although those with kidney or gall stones may want to be careful with their kale consumption. Apparently the oxalates contained in kale have been linked to these health issues.

We can research endlessly about the pros and cons of our food, but at some point, we may want to step back and listen to what our body really needs. It all goes back to tuning into ourselves and feeling how our body really feels. We can gain as much nutritional information as we want, but it may be of little relevance if we are disconnected from our body.

When we are in sync with our body, deciding what is good and bad for us can be a lot easier. It does not always have to be about weighing nutritional pros and cons. Some days we may feel like drinking coffee, and some days when we may feel like staying away from it. While we love our superfood kale, there may be times when our body needs something easier to digest, so we may opt for steamed or cooked vegetables instead.

Therefore, the next question is: how do we get in tune with our body? You probably already guessed the answer. Take time to yoga, meditate, or engage in any other activities that help you to achieve a better mind-body connection. Yoga does not have to be on your mat, and meditating does not mean you have to sit still in your living room. Some days tuning in may mean taking a walk, going to the beach, or going for a nice long drive.

So keep up with the health and nutrition news, but don’t forget to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Your healthy life begins with you :)


5 Ways to Begin Meditation

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By Rebecca Seed
1. Throw rules out the window.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to meditation. During the many hours of yoga class and stacks of reading I did, I realized I’d always been afraid to attempt to sit in solitude because I would be doing it “wrong.”
Well, it’s completely normal to feel uncomfortable with being still, even for the most seasoned practitioners. Today, most of us spend our days on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email—and that’s just when we AREN’T working at our desk jobs. It’s much, much harder to quiet the brain than it was 3,500 years ago when yogis sat in caves for months and years to meditate.
So give yourself a break. A yoga teacher once told me, let the thoughts come in and then float away like a piece of driftwood on a river.  Acknowledge your thoughts. Say hello, even. Then say, okay, we’ll touch base later. And focus on your breath instead.
2. Create a sacred space.
I am very much a creature of habit, so this is important to me. Make a space in your home where you can commit to your meditation practice. You might even consider making an altar. I just made one in a corner of my living room and it was actually a fun little process. Take things that are meaningful to you, and put them in a spot where you can sit quietly. 
Reflect on them for a few moments before you close your eyes. It doesn’t have to be anything that will rearrange your entire room. It could be a picture of your dog, if that’s what brings you peace. My altar is a gilded Buddha statue I somehow acquired from an ex, a picture of my sister and I as kids, a tiny vase of dried lavender, a copy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and a candle. Simple. I’ll add to my altar as my meditation deepens, but it’s perfect for now.
3. Aim to meditate at the same time each day.
And keep in mind it doesn’t have to be before dawn! Don’t read into that when you’re first starting out. You’ll never last. And I haven’t even tried it. I just know myself well enough to know I’d end up falling asleep. But, get into the habit of fitting it into your routine each day.
4. Don’t time yourself. And don’t look at a clock.
During my practice, I’ve been sitting quietly for as long as I can, until I feel the need to open my eyes. I’m pretty sure the first few days I lasted maybe three minutes. But I’m okay with that. I’m learning. I’m a total beginner. Sure, I can almost hold handstand in the center of the room in yoga class, but no, I can barely sit still for 10 minutes. Patience is all part of the process.
5. Learn a few simple breathing techniques.
You might be familiar with Ujjayi breathing from your yoga class. That’s a great place to start. And there are dozens of other breathing techniques out there, many of them are beginner appropriate. I’ve been doing several rounds of alternate nostril breathing while I meditate. It helps me to focus on something. This may not be the total enlightenment, but at least I’m not thinking about my grocery list or the bills I have to pay. 
I propose we all attempt a little meditation in 2013. The benefits are just too much to ignore. I know I will be better for it. I’m looking forward to getting there, slowly but surely.

Not feeling guilty while watching The Real Housewives of NYC

That is the feeling I love. I am currently sitting at home watching MTV movie awards (following episodes of Sex & the City, Modern Family, and the Real Housewives of NYC) after handing up my 50% Design Studio Assignment this morning! Yes, granted I still have a 50% Design Drawing Assignment due in 3 days, and a 50% History Essay due in a week which I haven’t started, BUT, that is not the point. The point is that a massive load has been lifted off my shoulders, and that I am so close to finishing semester 1 (yes it’s only first year, but still, it’s a lot harder/stressful than it seems!), and that long awaited 6 week holiday is so close I can taste the sweet, sugar-free, organic cocoa balls that I will constantly be whipping up.

Along with baking bundles of scrumptious paleo goodies, there are SO many other things I want to do in the holidays, which I feel are slowly being pushed out of my life as I struggle to find a balance between uni, work, friends, family, and my boyfriend. Finding new music is definitely one of them. I used to get the biggest thrill out of discovering new artists, and would fall asleep with my ipod buds in my ears listening to their tracks. I also want to play The Sims for a week. Yes it will probably destroy my brain cells and result in me having no physical contact with any living thing but my cat for more than 72 hours, but really, who doesn’t enjoy controlling and creating their own little cities?

Another thing that I am dying to address is my mums knowledge of nutrition. My mum is one of those lucky ladies who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight – growing up she would make us lots of pastas, lasagnas, pizza, potatoes – basically anything that was easy and quick to make – and consequently most of these foods were full of starch, carbs, and sugars. So my goal is to convert her!!

Anyway, I’m finally on holidays now, which means hopefully I will be able to develop this blog into something super interesting and cool n shiz.

Stay tuned for some delicious and hopefully inspiring posts 🙂