Tips for Surviving and Thriving over the Holidays!

Hello friends! We are entering the busy holiday season with Thanksgiving only a couple weeks away and Christmas in just over a month! I wanted to take this time to provide some tips I use to relax and unwind during what can be a very stressful (but joyous) time of year. If we’re not careful, we end up focusing too much on everything we have to do – attend this party, buy gifts, cook food, clean, study, etc etc when instead we should be focusing more of our energy on how grateful we are to spend quality time with loved ones. To move us into a mind of gratitude I find a few core everyday practices help:

Exercise

Daily exercise is great for reducing stress and releasing feel good endorphins. For me that means practicing yoga or going for a walk. It’s important to find exercise that you enjoy rather than dread as that’s just another stressor. Try to find at least 30 minutes a day to focus on your exercise regime.

Water

When things get busy, many of us forget to drink water. But with all of the indulgences available this time of year, water is more important then ever to flush out toxins. Aim for 8 glasses a day, every day.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and focus on gratitude. I find even 10 minutes a day shifts my entire mood. There are lots of free apps with guided meditations that are great if you are new to meditation. Guided meditations allow you to just sit back and listen which is great if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Healthy Food

There are SO many treats and huge meals available in these months, and while I think it’s fine to enjoy them, it’s also important to ensure your every day meals are healthy and full of vegetables . If you are eating junk 3 meals a day for 2 months your body is going to be in state of constant stress trying to digest and eliminate all of the bad food. I enjoy big meals and desserts with family and friends throughout the holiday season without guilt, but that’s also because I fuel my body with healthy food all the time.

Those are my top 4 tips for staying relaxed and grateful during the holidays. What are your go to tips?

– Estelle ?

Healthy To-Go Snack!

I try my best to eat well, but sometimes when you’re on the go that can be a challenge because most grab and go snacks are filled with a bunch of nasty ingredients! Even if you found a granola bar in a natural health store, chances are there is more sugar and less nutrients than you’d like in that one little bar.

To combat this, I decided to make a huge batch of homemade trail mix I can add to little containers to pop into my bag for those moments when I just can’t wait for the next meal. I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes ideas and I’ve tried many but I keep coming back to this popular trail mix recipe from The Healthy Maven. Her mix is packed full of healthy seeds, nuts, dried fruit and even a little dark chocolate for a snack that tastes so much better than store bought mix and is so much healthier because you control the ingredients! No nasty hydrogenated oils, added salt or sugar here! The pure ingredients are satisfying enough on their own, and mixed together make for a little slice of heaven. Please give her recipe below a try and let me know what you think! I usually adapt the recipe based on what I have at home (for example I don’t eat peanuts so I just used almonds, cashews and walnuts for nuts in my last batch). I also usually just use raisins for dried fruit as they are most cost effective and it’s easy to find varieties with no added oil or sugar.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe! Also if you repost this recipe please be sure to give credit to the original author The Healthy Maven. 🙂

Ingredients
For the customizable version:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw nuts i.e. almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts etc..
  • 1 cup raw seeds i.e. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc…
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unsulphured dried fruit
  • Fun stuff (amounts vary) i.e. 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, 1 cup popped popcorn, 1 cup pretzels etc..
  • Spice i.e. 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg (optional)
My Go-To Trail Mix Recipe:
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured cherries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped 82% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in a ziploc bag or mason jar.
  3. Will keep for up to 1 month.

Juice Cleanse Shopping Haul

Hello my dears!

As promised, I wanted to share my shopping haul for my week of juice cleanses! Be warned, it sounds like a lot but it’s all fruit and vegetables so it’s honestly pretty inexpensive. I bought everything I could at Costco because they sell bulk quantities at a reduced price which is perfect for this sort of occasion. Normally it would take me forever to finish a huge bag of carrots from Costco, but during my cleanse it’s no issue at all! Here’s everything I bought for a seven days worth of juices (three juices a day):

  • 35 carrots
  • 35 stalks of celery
  • 12 apples
  • 15 lemons
  • 10 limes
  • 1 lb of ginger
  • 10 heads of romaine
  • 5 bunches of kale
  • 15 beets
  • 20 large cucumbers
  • 10 pears
  • 5 bunches of parsley
  • 15 oranges
  • 5 bunches of mint

This is what worked for me but I encourage you to adjust and refine as needed for your diet! Some people drink more juices per day on the cleanse but I find my body is not that hungry after it gets used drinking rather than chewing food.

If you have any questions please let me know!

– Estelle ?

Juice Cleanses

​Hi everyone! Thanks so much for checking out my blog, I appreciate you all so much! This year I have a goal of growing my readers by 100% and so I’m going to make an effort to put out great content on a regular basis. If you have any ideas about a post you’d like to see from me, please let me know in the comments below!

Another cleanse you’ve likely heard a lot about about is juice cleanses. Last time I posted about colon cleanses but I also use juice cleanses as an excellent way to detoxify the body and give your digestive system a break. One thing to be wary of with juice cleanses is that it can be a lot of natural sugar to the system at once. For example some juice cleanses will have an apple juice which is delicious but it’s a concentrated amount of sugar to the body at once without requiring the body to chew and digest the fibre of the fruit itself which slows down the absorption of the natural sugars. As such I like to stick to mainly vegetable-based juices during my cleanse with a tiny bit of fruit added for a little bit of sweetness. If you’ve ever had a green juice with tons of kale and spinach you know that a little bit of apple is necessary to balance out that greens taste!

I like to do a juice cleanse once every season or four times a year. I do the cleanse for 5 to 7 days drinking only juice and water during that time. I have my own juicer at home so I make my own juices but there are also many juice companies that will ship juice straight to your door to keep in the fridge. The only thing I don’t like about that option is that freshly pressed juice is best enjoyed right after it is prepared because it begins oxidizing and losing the vitamin and minerals after it sits. But if you don’t want to invest in a juicer and you don’t have one at home already it’s still a better option than nothing at all!

Because I make all of that juices myself I usually go to the grocery store one day before beginning my cleanse with all of the fruits and vegetables I will need for the week. This basically means filling my entire fridge with produce and it’s crazy to think that it all will be broken down into juice and consumed by me by the end of the week. If you don’t want to do such a big shop at once you could also go twice during the week of the cleanse to replenish your supply. You may also find like me that you’re eating more than you realized when juicing. I am just about to go grocery shopping now for the week and I plan to do another post later what I bought and some recipes that I use through my juice cleanse. Stay tuned!

– Estelle ?

Benefits of detoxing the body

Hi everyone! I know it’s been forever since I posted. Last week I learned about detoxing in my studies and I instantly knew I had to share what I learned with my readers!

It seems there are so many programs and fads out there centered around detoxing. A lot of them focus more on the external, but I wanted to share a great detox idea that starts from the inside. I’m talking about colon cleansing! I am a huge proponent of eating well and exercising regularly which are both great ways to maintain your health. But every now and again out body needs a kickstart; particularly after too many sweets over the holiday season or if you are new to clean eating. The large intestine is about 5 feet long, and over time toxic debris sticks to the walls of the colon and doesn’t get passed during regular bowel movements. A colonic, or colon hydrotherapy, is recommended by naturopaths to clean out that toxic debris and often leaves patients feeling less sluggish, tired and irritable. Sounds like a win win to me!

Now what exactly is a colonic you ask? Colon Hydrotherapy is a gentle, safe and effective way to eliminate waste and toxins from the body while stimulating the immune system and restoring proper organ function. During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that’s inserted into the rectum. A naturopath will often preform this cleanse and also massage the patient’s stomach during the procedure to help loosen excess debris.

After a colonic, you will feel light as a feather! Some patients report chronic irritable bowel syndrome or headaches disappear immediately.  Isn’t that amazing?! I highly recommend trying colon hydrotherapy preformed by a naturopath in your area as the ultimate detox after the holiday season. I already have one booked and can’t wait!

– Estelle 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I just back from Hawaii yesterday – it was so hard to leave! The weather was perfect the whole time, and my mom and I had a lovely time. It was such a great treat after all that studying for exams in December 🙂

It has been surprisingly chilly and arctic here in Seattle this winter! Usually we get very little snow and just need to deal with plenty of clouds and rain. But this year it has snowed a lot! Such a change from Hawaii!

School starts up for me again soon and I must say that I am feeling refreshed and excited to get at it again. I got a really nice journal from one of my girlfriends for Christmas and I’ve been using it to set my resolutions and catalogue my progress at the end of each day. I think it’ll help keep me better organised!

This year my big resolution is to try to get out into nature more. It’s been hard to keep that up as things get busy with my studies and getting out into nature is the easiest thing to put at the bottom of the list. I’m thinking I might get myself a puppy to help motivate me to get outside and take walks!

What about you guys? What sort of resolutions do you have for 2017?

Until next time, wishing you health and happiness!

– Estelle 🙂

 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Hiya! I am in the middle of studying for exams and can’t talk long, but I wanted to take the chance to wish everyone happy, happy holidays! I am off with my mom to Hawaii for a week after my exams are done and then I will be back to blogging in January!

From my heart to yours, wishing you health and happiness! And see you in 2017!

– Estelle 🙂

My Life as a Naturopathy Student

Hello friends! I hope you’re all doing lovely today! Some of you have asked me about my naturopathy studies and how that’s going, so I thought I would write about that today!

Wikipedia has a really great discussion of the history of naturopathy, which actually started thousands of years ago from the teachings of some of the ancient Greeks. In essence, naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine which focuses on natural practices and self-healing. It also encompasses homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counselling.

I decided to study naturopathy and become a naturopath for two big reasons. First, I love people and want to help those in need get better. Second, I have always been attracted to the natural side of things. I totally understand that traditional medications have their place (like in a life or death situation) but if the situation isn’t urgent we should be giving the body what it needs to heal itself.

Studying to become a naturopath is pretty intense! In essence, it’s like the training required to become a doctor, and includes a lot of the same curriculum. It’s sometimes hard to stay healthy with things so busy and I find myself cutting corners, which is sort of ironic given the area of my studies! 🙂

I am due to finish my studies pretty soon, and am super excited about starting my practice. My mom has some friends with established naturopathy practices and I have an opportunity to work with them and learn from them, which will be perfect for starting out!

What is your passion? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, wishing you health and happiness!

– Estelle 🙂

My New Favourite Yoga Class!

Hello internet! I went to a great yoga class yesterday and wanted to tell you about it! The class was a combination of yin yoga, hot yoga, and assisted movements, and I thought it was incredible (in part because I am studying for my exams and it provided much needed stress relief)! For those of you who are new to yoga, let me tell you about each of these styles of yoga.

Yin yoga is a slow, contemplative yoga style that involves holding stretches for extended periods of time. The goal is to increase flexibility in the body by stretching the “fascia”, which is essentially a second skin which is like a sheath that envelopes muscles.

Hot yoga is basically normal yoga except it takes place in a hot or warm room, which is generally heated by a dry heater rather than steam. This can make for a very hot yoga class if the class involves plenty of movement, or it can make for a warmer but OK class if the class involves less movement. I have had classes of both varieties. Sometimes hot yoga classes can be overwhelming if there are plenty of movements – doing yoga poses is hard enough in a room with normal temperature!

In this case, it was a yin class so it involved whole lot less movement than a normal class. That made the heat quite welcome, not like a nemesis in a more strenuous class! The heat is also perfect for yin classes, since the heat warms up the fascia and helps the body stretch more than it could have.

Because there is much less movement than normal, the warmth isn’t overwhelming, although it does get pretty hot and sweaty in the room! It’s super important to stay hydrated during any sort of hot yoga class, and that involves drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after class. My mom bought me a beautiful copper water bottle from Copper H2O for my birthday which I have been taking to class for a few months. I take a few sips from my bottle every few minutes to make sure I stayed well hydrated. Any water bottle will do, and make sure it’s filled to the brim! 🙂

Finally, assisted yoga is a class where the instructor actually helps push you into certain poses to enhance the stretch. This isn’t just a little adjustment here or there – it is full on in most cases! For example, the instructor pressed down on my lower back with most of her weight while I was in child pose, which helped open up my lower back (tight from all that studying) and actually felt great!

I think this style of yoga is my new favourite. It’s relatively low key, feels great, and the heat is great for purging the body of toxins via sweat. Just remember to stay really well hydrated or you might find yourself with a headache and dry mouth after class! J

What’s your favourite kind of yoga? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, wishing you health and happiness!

– Estelle 🙂

I’m Estelle – So Pleased to Meet You!

Hello and welcome to my little place on the web! My name is Estelle and I live in Seattle, Washington. I’m 26, a busy naturopathy student, and a dedicated yogini! For my inaugural blog post, I thought I’d write about my adventures with yoga over the last few years and why I decided to name this blog Everyday Yogini. 🙂

I first started practicing yoga when I moved to Seattle for school a few years ago. I was immediately drawn to the physical aspects of the practice – I have always worked to stay in shape and yoga really helped keep my body toned and strong. In those early days, I didn’t appreciate the meditative aspect of yoga all that much. To be completely honest, sometimes the “corpse pose” at the end of class felt like naptime in kindergarten. I was keen to get out and be active!

As time passed, I grew to appreciate and value the meditation more and more. Looking back, I realise that it took time for me to learn how to do it properly. At the start I would always find that my mind wandered to all the things I wanted to do after class. As a result, it never did much for me. However, when I finally learned to let go and sink into the meditation by thinking of nothing, I immediately began appreciating the health benefits. Today, I can enter a meditative state quite quickly and 10 minutes worth of meditation can feel like an eternity when I emerge – which is a sure sign that I am getting much more benefit out of it!

Over the years I have participated in many yoga challenges over month-long periods of even longer. I enjoyed those a lot and so have made yoga an everyday practice – hence the name of my blog, Everyday Yogini! I can’t wait to share more with you about my love of yoga, my naturopathy studies, and my life!

Are you a yogi as well? How often do you practice? Here is a great discussion of how to mediate properly for those who are interested!

Until next time, wishing you health and happiness!

– Estelle 🙂