5 Detoxifying Habits to Start This Winter (Guest Blog)

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As many of you know, I think Mindbodygreen always has great, practical tips for everyday living, and as the holidays are here, I figured this would be a great re-post for today’s guest blog:

5 Detoxifying Habits to Start this Winter

Health guru or not, we generally let our healthy routines slip — holiday party stock photoeven in the slightest — during the holiday season. Maybe we eat foods we aren’t accustomed to, skip workout days or drink more alcohol than usual.

It’s a challenge to stay “on” during this time, but we allow it because of tradition. And our hope is that our love for family and friends will carry us through the holidays, free of guilt and sickness.

Then reality sinks in. We start the New Year feeling sluggish, low energy and unmotivated. We want to so badly get back on track, but it’s hard to step out of the hole we’ve unintentionally created.

So how can we manage guilty-free fun at holiday parties and gatherings while simultaneously handling the harsh reality of repeated exposure to toxins? What are some simple, quick hacks that we can put into practice before, during and after our indulgent moments to cleanse our systems and maintain our vitality?

Here’s what I suggest:

1. Hydrate

This one sounds simple, but staying hydrated is very often pushed to the back seat in social situations.

My suggestion is to drink a tall glass of water before heading out the door and again between alcoholic drinks. This prevents dehydration and the ensuing constipation and fatigue. I often bring a water bottle with me to ensure instant access. Even if you store it in your bag and only notice it on the way out, it’s a great way to remind yourself to re-hydrate at the end of the night.

2. Breathe

Yes, we all know how to breathe, but how many of us are actually intentional about our breathing?

The practice of bringing your attention to your breath can be very helpful in social and stressful situations. Stop and take a few deep breaths, allowing your mind to clear and body to relax. It’s calming, grounding and prior to a meal, it’ll help activate your digestion. To help you remember, place a sticky note on your smartphone or set a vibrating alarm on your device.

3. Digest

If you overload your system and can’t properly digest the food you eat, your body can’t process, absorb or eliminate it effectively. The result: discomfort, gas, bloating, and in some cases, inflammation and low energy. Poor breakdown of food is common in social environments when you’re trying to get the food in your mouth quickly so you can get back to chatting.

The quickest fix is simply to chew your food and manage your portions. But in the case that you didn’t or if you’ve over-eaten, you can give your system a boost by taking digestive enzyme supplements.

4. Add fiber

Fiber is the unsung hero of regulating energy and digestion. It’ll healthy foodhelp you manage spikes in blood sugar by slowing down your digestion and it’ll keep your bowels moving regularly. Fiber is found in plant-based foods in their most unprocessed form like nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

While at your party, identify some fibrous foods to complement the processed and sugary treats. And before going to bed, have a fiber supplement to make sure you wake up with happy bowels. Soaked chia seeds are my go-to source for fiber, but there are several to choose from.

5. Pay attention to your liver

Alcohol is often the great lubricator of our festive traditions and given the high volume of parties over the holidays, you’ll want a strategy to support your liver. Why? It’s the ultimate detoxification system and energy regulator in the body and when it’s stressed or overloaded, it doesn’t work so well. The liver relies on the activity of vitamins and minerals to help it with detoxification but these agents often get depleted during instances of toxic overload.

So make sure to load up on foods that will help reduce alcohol toxicity.

Besides supporting you over the holidays, these detox hacks can also be applied daily to maintain long-term optimal health. If you feel great over the holidays using these hacks, why not include these as part of your new year’s wellness plan?

Today’s Daily Horoscope

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“Look and learn, for there shall be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the Stars.” -Jesus, the Bible.

Today we feature another guest post from the Free Spiritual Guidance website. This site offers daily horoscope and spiritual readings. Be sure to check them out!

“The universe is always trying to communicate with you. Astrology readings are spiritual wisdoms, not proven facts, but a thought or a message you can apply to your daily task of evolution. Learn to convert your readings to Spiritual Astrology readings.”

Today’s Daily Spiritual Astrology Readings

ARIES

A time for imagination and creativity when it comes to ideas and thinking. This, coupled with the ability to put your thoughts into words, allows you to captivate and spellbind. A good book or movie would be appreciated too.

TAURUS

Although at times today circumstances seem to place you between dream and hallucination, it emphasizes the ability to perceive and commune with your inner self in ways you might have felt cut off from in the past. The intense energy today breaks internal barriers and allows you to heal wounds that seem to be finding their way to the surface of your emotions lately.

GEMINI

Finances may bring a flurry of monetary activity, perhaps a quick find or mini-crisis, but it passes quickly. Keep its brevity in mind so you don’t lay heavy bets on a passing fancy, unless other longer-range cycles are much in focus with this as trigger.

CANCER

Matters are coming to a head. Old stagnant conditions involving personal projects, a family member, or a parent will be finalized. This is the time to establish good relationships between you and a parent or family elder. Don’t continue to handle those difficult tasks alone. It is time for others to take some of the burdens and responsibilities off your shoulders.

LEO

You are likely to distance yourself from others now, feeling the need to withdraw and reflect. Your thoughts are inclined to be heavy, critical, and pessimistic at this time, so it would be good to realize that you are only seeing part of the picture, and perhaps seek the advice of an older, experienced person who has passed through some of the challenges you face.

VIRGO

A broad scope or general sweep comes easier now; leave details until there’s time for them later. If you get the principle of the thing, you can extrapolate the rest as it develops — and it is lots easier than doing it the other way around. Feelings swell, emotions rise, for a time the heart grows another size.

LIBRA

You put extra energy into thinking about and organizing your work and professional life. Decisions you make now are likely to work out well, as you are clear and objective. Gathering information regarding your career or long-range goals is also favored.

SCORPIO

There could be an overpowering feeling that the Force is with you, and if you lay back and let circumstances happen rather than forcing them to, you just might be surprised at how easy it all seems. Simply will away obstacles and they will crumble in your path. Envision what you need and it will appear for you right on time.

SAGITTARIUS

This is a time period of gradual maturing of your attitudes and overall approach to life. You become more in tune with your inner needs and tendencies, and you can make changes that allow you to spend more time doing the things that you really enjoy rather than what serves your more worldly ambitions, needs for security, and what appeals to you as the logically correct thing to do.

CAPRICORN

A possible day of raised tensions at home as energies run high and elbow room seems harder to come by. It’s a good time to start new home-related projects as a way to utilize the extra energy in a constructive manner. The only thing you’ll not want to do today is lazy, the energy is too intense to just sit around and watch the TV.

AQUARIUS

Ask and you just might get it, so if you want it, go for it. Part of receiving involves intuitively knowing just what to ask for, what’s really available, and who’s in the mood for giving. Go with your feelings and you’ll be surprised at what’s at your command. It’s a definite day for manifesting what you need and want.

PISCES

Throughout the day you could come into contact with individuals who think along the same lines as what you do. Given this, you may team up and make something happen that has been a dream of yours for some time.

The Secret Life of Chakras

Features, Spirituality, The Crown Chakra, The Heart Chakra, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra, The Throat Chakra, Websites
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Imagine seven ‘wheels’ of energy spinning in your body along its centerline, from the base of your spine to the top of your head. These subtle energy channels each correspond to different areas of the body as well as specific life situations. They channel energy to where it’s needed, for optimal health and wellbeing.

In many ways the chakras are like intersections in a busy city. They channel traffic, and the traffic grid is designed to keep traffic flowing freely. But as we have all experienced, city traffic can easily become snarled. All it takes is one angry or insensitive driver blocking an intersection, and everything comes to a stop. Traffic ‘upstream’ from the blockage becomes an impassable domino effect of cars clogging the streets and blocking other intersections. And ‘downstream’, the streets are empty.

Check out the chakra chart below to understand your chakras better.

click to enlarge the Chakra Chart

Imagine that scenario in your energy flow. If one or more of your chakras are blocked, they cause disturbances and imbalances on both sides of the flow. The result is stagnating energy that causes poor health, undesirable life conditions, unhappiness and a sense that nothing is going right.

You may have blockages or imbalances in several chakras, but it is often due to one major blockage in one chakra that then affects the others. Take a free chakra test to find out which of your chakras are blocked!

Now that you know how important the chakras are to your overall health and wellbeing, let’s look at individual chakras and the ways they affect the system.

root chakra symbolStarting at the bottom of the line of chakras, we find the first chakraor the Root chakra, located at the base of the spine. It corresponds to the physical body and connection to the Earth. Just like a foundation, it is concerned with the basics of survival: food, shelter, safety, comfort and belonging. You can tell if your root chakra is closed if you often feel stuck and sluggish; you experience unrelenting stress because of a belief that you must rely on external circumstances; you may have persistent financial problems and find yourself in a less-than-ideal career.

sacral chakraJust up from the root chakra is the Sacral chakra. This is the seat of kundalini energy, sexuality, pleasure, intimacy, creativity and the joys of life. This chakra is located just below and behind the navel. Looking at the body from head to toe, this is your physical center. If your sacral chakra is weak, you struggle with a healthy self-image; you experience difficulty allowing yourself to become emotionally and sexually intimate; you move from one relationship to another, desperately trying to find “the one” yet lacking the sense that you are worthy of love. Most notably, your libido is very low.

solar plexus chakra symbolMoving up, the Solar plexus chakra is the center of your personal power. Physically, it is located about two inches below the breastbone. It is the seat of your ego, willpower, passions and ambition. If your solar plexus chakra is imbalanced or depleted, you will find it difficult to take action on your dreams due to a sense of powerlessness and low self-esteem; you have very low self-worth, feel like a victim and often suffer from stomach issues and anxiety.

heart chakra symbolThe fourth chakra is the Heart chakra, the center for love and spirituality. Love doesn’t mean only love for others; it also applies to self-love and self-acceptance. This chakra is located right next to your physical heart – which is why, when you are struggling in this chakra, you may experience heartache! If your heart chakra is weak, you have trouble with giving and receiving love and being compassionate; you hold grudges and become needy in relationships, and this often leads to anger and distrust. A weak heart chakra can be at the root of heart disease, asthma and allergies.

throat chakra symbolThe fifth chakra is next in line. The Throat chakra is your communication center – your voice, your creative self-expression. The throat chakra is also responsible for truth, honesty and integrity. If you are unable to voice your opinions or true feelings; if you are known as the ‘quiet one’ and if you are frustrated because you don’t feel that other people hear what you have to say, your throat chakra is blocked. Throat and mouth problems are common.

third eye chakra symbolYour sixth chakra is the Third eye chakra (or brow chakra). It sits just between and above the eyes and it is responsible for psychic abilities such as intuition as well as your sense of purpose in life. Your third eye chakra is closed if you struggle with finding meaning in life and often ask yourself, “Why am I here? Why was I even born?” You have trouble making decisions and suffer from headaches and tension.

crown chakraFinally, we reach the crown chakra located at the top of your head. This is the connection between you and the divine. It is responsible for spirituality and enlightenment. Your brain functions and central nervous system are controlled by the crown chakra. If this chakra is depleted or blocked, you will experience loneliness, insignificance and meaninglessness. You may feel a strong attachment to material possessions and achievements (and define yourself according to them) and a disconnect from the spiritual side of life. Headaches are common.

Now, this list of problems can be overwhelming and depressing, if you suffer from more than just a few. But remember, you most likely have a blockage in one primary chakra that causes imbalances in the rest. That’s why it is important to find out where the main blockage is and what caused it. Then, with simple knowledge and exercises, you can become like a helpful police officer guiding traffic at a snarled intersection and restore the free flow of energy in your body.

When the seven chakras are in balance, life feels good and all is as it should be. This small introduction to the seven chakras is just the start to that journey.

The word chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. This is because each of the chakras is connected to the next in what appears to be a vertical line up the body. They also create loops of energy that surround your body. Generally, the 7 chakras are classified from the bottom to top of the head in an ascending manner. Each chakra has a corresponding color that make an ascending rainbow.