All posts by Olga Tsibarnea

RYT-500 IYN, E-RYT-200 YA

Motherhood: What Love is All About by Lisa St. Hill

Be Love!

As a Yoga Instructor and more importantly now, as a parent, I’ve realized we in fact do grow up with our children. I teach students to move with the flow and move through life with the breath, in order to be present; it is a choice to choose. Having a toddler has opened my eyes to the joy of being and choosing love in everything I do.

Logan’s favorite activity are the slides at the local playground. One day, while watching him run and jump (and with every move the careful mommy in me is  afraid and praying he won’t get hurt) he says: “Come on mom. Come with me. Let’s slide!”

My body feels 40, but my heart is 10!

“No Logan, mommy can’t fit on the slide!” I tell him.

We both chuckle and finally I can see his frustration, so I give in and climb the slides. We run and play and I look up at the sunset and think, this is what love is all about. Being present, giving in to your heart, throwing away your fears and allowing your heart to trust with the moment.

This month I invite you to just be love. Maybe check on a neighbor to see how they are doing, stick up for someone who needs a voice or protecting, give a kind word or offer help in some way in your community to make someone’s day a little brighter.

Love shows itself with simplicity and clarity. When we embrace it with full integrity, it reveals itself in the softness of our voices, the swagger confidence in our steps, the food we prepare. As moms we give a lot, but we do receive in abundance. When you feel you can’t go on, just dig in and you’ll be amazed at the rewards.

I wrote in my journal that evening of our day at the park. I hope when he is a young man, he will take at least a bit of my thoughts of our time spent together. That it will help him through life so he knows where and when to show his love. I’m thankful for the beauty of life and even the hardships it entails, but more so, I’m thankful of the small lessons my little one teaches me about love every day.

May you have love in abundance this month and be love throughout the rest of the year!

Discovering My Strength: Practicing with a Broken Heart by Bethany Platanella

I got my heart broken. For the third time.

The first time was more of a realization that even the strongest, closest love wasn’t unconditional. We were one person, never without the other. The perfect couple that everyone liked hanging out with. He was my other half, and the ending was like a death. I remember the point at which I let him go—I clenched all my muscles and released them, and there he went. And I slowly became my own person.

I have never experienced love in that way again.

The second time was a loss of control. The relationship was extremely fast-moving and passionate. It was fueled by lustful desire; it was a whole new experience for me. He was beautiful, the sex was phenomenal, and our connection was so deep that I wanted to have his child. And then he disappeared. One day he decided he didn’t want me and simply vanished from my life with no warning. And it destroyed me.

I have never experienced love in that way again.

My third heartbreak is happening now, as I write. He was everything I had intended to manifest: smart, successful, foreign, handsome, active. He loved to travel, he liked good food and wine, he was a devoted father, and he made me feel beautiful and protected. He had goals, he made decisions, he opened the car door for me and carried my suitcase through the airport as we made our way to a short, whirlwind trip to the Caribbean. I fell in love with him within 30 minutes of our first date. I remember that exact moment, and I always will. I didn’t expect to fall that hard, but when I did, I assumed he was just as head over heels for me. I was completely unprepared to fall so much harder than he did.

My third heartbreak is happening now, as I write.

At that point in my life I was still wondering, wandering, and searching for myself professionally. Thanks in part to my yoga practice, my connection with my emotional state was strong. I could recognize that the breakup was not all about me; he was a man transitioning through a difficult divorce; professionally he had it together, but emotionally he did not.

But even so, as I write that, my heart writhes. I have a terrible time letting go of love, despite my belief that another, better one will come. And now is the time for me to find the lesson in my latest love story. The first time I fell in love I learned about friendship; the second time I learned about passion. But what about the third? I guess once I figure that out, I’ll be ready to move on. I’m getting closer.

In the meantime, my focus is yoga. Since yoga connects me to myself and allows me to feel things without guilt or judgment, I went right to it. In my 20s, yoga helped me sort out my feelings during my own breakups as well as my parents’ divorce. Now in my 30s, I am a noticeably more emotional being than I have ever known myself to be. Many of my more difficult nights have been spent in child’s pose, emotionally ridden tears flowing onto my mat. That mat knows every inch of me physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I pray, I meditate, I move through life’s challenges on my mat.

So it’s no surprise that I sought refuge in yoga when this challenge arose. Every day I meditated on strength. “I am strong” reverberated with my inhales and exhales. But aside from my heartache, I was at a professional crossroads. Money was not flowing, and neither were career opportunities, so I went to a yoga instructor audition at a beautiful spa in downtown Miami. Picking up more yoga classes felt like a bit of a “quick fix” to a financial problem, but it was the only thing available in a pinch. When the manager mentioned the spa’s need for barre instructors, I instinctively responded with interest. The manager told me, “Take some barre classes here, I will comp you. Let me know what you think. If you are interested in training to become a teacher after trying the class, we can talk about it.”

So I took advantage of the offer, and went against my yogic grain to expand my fitness practice to ballet barre. Four classes in and my body already began a physical transformation that I never dreamed possible in such a short amount of time. One month ago I couldn’t do more than three push-ups. Today I can complete ten, after holding a minute-long plank. My core, my arms, and my thighs feel strong. What is more fascinating though, is my mental response. Mentally, I feel invincible. While yoga completes me emotionally by bringing me emotional presence and fluidity in movement, it turns out there was still something more I needed. Something to remind me of my inner strength.

Maybe if I can get through barre class and come out feeling more powerful than ever, I can get through rejection in the same way. ​

At this moment in time, when what I really needed was strength, the universe sent it to me in the form of barre. ​Even when my thighs are on fire from multiple leg lifts and I have to take a breather, I know I will come back as soon as possible with new vigor, new motivation. I haven’t known such a perfect combination of physical and mental strength before. I realized, if my mind and body can remain present and work through the discomfort of endless leg lifts (and trust me, just 20 of those can surpass anyone’s pain threshold), why can’t I do the same with my emotions? Reminding myself that I was strong in all aspects of my being helped me greatly at times when rejection felt consuming. Maybe if I can get through barre class and come out feeling more powerful than ever, I can get through rejection in the same way. ​

As I put makeup on in front of the mirror, I notice that my arms are toned. My legs are more muscular and curvier than even a few weeks ago. My core feels strong and solid. But more importantly, so does my heart. When my mind unconsciously drifts to him, or to feelings of rejection, I allow myself to recognize the pain. But my body’s durability reminds me of the durability in my heart and my mind, and I know I will be fine. Trusting that the right thing is happening helps, especially when I look objectively at the circumstances in which I currently find myself. For me, it was so simple. With meditation, intention-setting, and repetition, I asked the universe for strength. Sure enough, the universe provided the means of strength—by offering me a chance at barre.

Inversions, Hormones and Yoga by Valerie Goodman

Inversions are an integral component of not only a good yoga practice, but good health. As kids, we used to hang upside down from the jungle gym like monkeys, do somersaults, or swing as high as possible gripping the swing’s chain and leaning back to get the feel of flying. Little did we know it, but our bodies were getting some great internal benefits. Besides being fun and giving a sense of daring to play to edges, we were giving our endocrine system a chance to share its magic. Use your yoga practice to re-ignite the smiles you had just being a kid. And, for goodness sakes, do not let the ingrained thought “I’m too old to do this…” deter you from doing what can make you happy at any age.

First of all, there are medical contraindications for inversions. It depends on the style of inversion and the physical ailment. (When in doubt, leave it out…until you discuss it with your doctor.)  The body’s glands, or endocrine system, produce approximately 50 hormones. These hormones ignite the release of chemicals that send messages to your body and mind how to feel and function. Some hormones get the energy revved up and others get you to chill out. Over time, a consistent yoga practice increases your sense of awareness of what your body needs to stay balanced within the endocrine system.

Your glands reside from the top in your brain down to your reproductive zone and many places in between. In fact, it is not just glands that host the necessary hormones we need to function. Your heart, besides pumping oxygenated blood throughout your body and dispensing the carbon monoxide load returned 24/7, it also makes a hormone (atriopeptin) to help regulate your blood pressure. The pituitary gland, considered the master of all glands, is only the size of a pea within the brain and generates hormones that trigger a ripple effect of the other gland’s in the body. Some consider the hypothalamus the chief gland; but, irregardless of that debate, each are profound contributors to your physical, emotional, and mental existence.

Now, let’s get to the power of yoga inversions. To be clear, an inversion is a pose that gets your head below the level of your heart. Inversions stimulate your endocrine system into action depending on the type of inversion you do. For example, a Forward Fold ignites the parasympathetic nervous system into releasing hormones like dopamine and serotonin. A sense of well-being and releasing tightness from stress residing in the cells and mind is an amazing result from simply letting yourself hang over and breathe. Child’s pose is another surrendering pose that lets the blood flow to the brain and tell the pituitary gland to start the sequential release of calming chemicals that your own body makes.

Other inversion moves integrate a use of strength and balance that ignite a different set of hormones and results. Headstand or handstand actually raise your blood pressure, increase the heart rate, strengthen balance, and ignite a release of hormones that increase your energy levels. One of the hormones released in headstand is glucagon, which is produced in the liver. It ignites the production of glucose to get the body’s energy moving faster. Can be a great pose to do at the front of the day to get the “juices” flowing.

Just know that due to the various hormones released during certain poses, it is wise to know what to practice in the morning and what to practice at night. The inversion of shoulder stand lowers your blood pressure, slows the heart beat down and ignites the release of serotonin and melatonin that help relax you and provide a good night’s sleep. Forward fold, either standing or sitting, is another calming pose. Remember to inhale and exhale slowly and deeply and you will enjoy the soft flow of peaceful energy. Legs up the wall is another great pose to do a little before bedtime.

From a cosmetic perspective, inversions use the power of gravity to help diminish the “fine” lines on the face that develop as we age. The utilization of gravity to help the blood flow to the face and brain helps what has “moved South” (your skin) to get moved in the opposite direction. The increase of oxygenated blood to the face is revitalizing for the cells. A healthy balance of working the endocrine system and the use of gravity to move the skin is a fantastic way to slow down the physical aging process. If anything, you just might find yourself smiling more for no reason.

Additionally, the inversions flip your organs upside down. To invert is to stir up sediments so that they can be more easily flushed out. Think about it. If you stir in a little sand in water, it will eventually settle to the bottom. The body is no different. Granules of what you consume are broken down in the digestive system. The organs that receive and use what is shared with them can retain tiny remnants over time. Not moving much keeps things where they settle. Throw in an inversion and things get stirred up and a chance to be moved out. Consider it a purging of what you don’t need or use like when you clean out your closet and drawers. It is showing good will to yourself.

Remember, you have an ample supply of power within you. We all grow a little bit older each day and there is no stopping the clock. But, with a conscious yoga practice, you will maintain and improve the health of the body and mind incrementally. Do not worry about setting time expectations of results. Instead, there will be a day when you suddenly become aware of a change or difference that you did not see before. Once that happens, know that you’ve just scratched the surface.

Awareness of Yamas and Niyamas in Asana by Sandra Anderson

Regularly. Diligently. You made progress at first, but now it seems that nothing is changing. You’re bored; you don’t look forward to your practice; you’re skipping classes—you have asana burn-out. Everyone hits a plateau now and then, a place where their practice seems dry and stale, where they are struggling and on the verge of quitting. So how can you renew your enthusiasm and resurrect your practice so you don’t wind up as a casualty of good intentions gone bad?

The short answer is to dig a little deeper. If your practice is no longer interesting or productive, you’re probably locked into your physical and mental habits and aren’t actively exploring them. Change can be upsetting or even frightening, and one way to avoid it is to avoid the unfamiliar. We tend to return to a familiar state of consciousness, even if that state is painful. And, because our consciousness dictates how we inhabit our body, asana can be a direct challenge to these habits. So it’s no surprise that we encounter such strong resistance to practice. Resistance takes many forms—boredom, a perceived lack of progress (or worse, feeling less competent than before), impatience, irritation, finding far too many other more important things that absolutely have to be done first, laziness, doubt about whether practice is even necessary, feeling “off” or even ill—in short, a general absence of pleasure.

When the mind is no longer with you in an asana, then practice becomes drudgery and a host of problems arise. An attitude adjustment is required.

Note that with the possible exception of illness, these are mental obstacles. The problem is not recalcitrant hamstrings, it’s your attitude. When the mind is no longer with you in an asana, then practice becomes drudgery and a host of problems arise. An attitude adjustment is required.

In the classical yoga system of Patanjali, the eight limbs of yoga start with the yamas and niyamas, the restraints and observances. Although they are often overlooked by practitioners, the yamas and niyamas can help us with the way in which we practice asana. They are the dharma of yoga—the underlying principles that sustain spiritual growth and development, and the fundamental principles on which we should base our actions, including our asana practice if that practice is to be fruitful.

Pashchimottanasana

As an example of how we might apply these principles, let’s explore pashchimottanasana, the posterior stretch. To assume the posture, sit on the floor with the legs hip-width apart and extended straight out in front of you. The spine should be straight; in other words, maintain the natural curve of the spine. Roll the thighbones in slightly to keep the kneecaps and the toes pointed straight up. Press the back of the legs evenly and gently into the floor.

The forward bend begins at the hips. Flex the hip joints and draw the pelvis and abdomen toward the thighs. The spine lengthens to come forward and give the pelvis room to tilt toward the thighs.

Keep the shoulders down and back, the chest open, and the sternum lifted. Press the pubic bone down and back between the thighs as the pelvic girdle tilts forward. Activate the inner thigh and calf muscles by pressing the inner arch of the feet away from the pelvis, while lifting the outside arches. Work on moving from the base of the spine and flexing the hips, lengthening the spine and the neck.

Rest the hands or forearms on the floor alongside the legs or hold the legs with the hands to help keep the thighs from rolling out. If your flexibility allows, grasp the feet or big toes with your hands and use your grip to broaden the upper back and widen the collarbones, drawing the chest out of the pelvis.

 

Moving Inward with the Restraints (Yamas)

The benefits of the posterior stretch emerge as you stay with it. Give yourself time to bring the mind and breath into synchronization with the body. Being fully present in the posture requires remaining aware of the whole body.

As you hold the pose and deepen your awareness, you may need to take a less extreme position, because you have become sensitive enough to realize you are past the point of challenge and into pain. If you are inflicting pain on yourself, the breath becomes irregular, the mind moves away, and the body automatically defends itself from this violence by tensing. Furthermore, the fear of pain will inhibit releasing the tension, as anyone with an injury can testify.

Viewing the world without animosity toward anyone or anything starts with our body, and there is no better place to practice loving-kindness-in-action than in our asana practice.

Treating yourself with kindness and consideration is to observe ahimsa, non-violence, the first of the yamas. Viewing the world without animosity toward anyone or anything starts with our body, and there is no better place to practice loving-kindness-in-action than in our asana practice. Cultivate unconditional positive regard for yourself in your asana, and practice becomes a joy.

On the other hand, avoiding either the physical or mental discomfort that comes up in the posture does nothing to transform us or further the goals of yoga. No progress can be made if we are unwilling to engage or otherwise address the obstacles. Refusing to engage your restrictions is a way of not telling yourself the truth, as is gritting your teeth, grabbing your toes and shoving past your boundaries. Satya, truthfulness, is another cornerstone in the foundation of your practice. Perhaps you need to bend the knees, or prop the hips to soften the back of the legs and work more deeply in the pelvis and lower back. If the lower back, hips, and hamstrings are tight, the lower back may collapse and round, so sit on the edge of a prop to straighten the spine.

Being honest with yourself also means that you don’t try to imitate someone else’s posture from the outside. The experience is yours. You may not look like the person next to you, who has her head between her shins, and your attempts to take on her posture may bring you pain and discouragement. By being fully present and honest about your limitations, you decide what you need, and use the posture appropriately in accordance with the third yama, asteya, avoiding misappropriation.

In the posterior stretch, be especially aware of the upper back; don’t collapse in order to grab the toes and pull your head toward your knees, thinking you are coming further into the pose. To engage with the alignment in the upper back, place a strap around the feet to keep the legs aligned and gently draw the spine toward the legs, keeping your upper back and collarbones broad.

As you gradually release in the posture, relaxing and following the breath through the body, the mind becomes more and more sensitive to the subtle levels of energy. Your focused and full attention on the subtle level can focus that energy and direct it inward. In Sanskrit, one meaning of the fourth yama, brahmacharya, is moving toward Brahman, from the verb root “char,” to go or move, and “brahman,” the ultimate reality. Quieting the restlessness of the mind and senses directs energy away from the snare of the phenomenological world toward the subtle inner realm. The outward-going mind fed by the senses is the restless, bored mind, always needing another fix to stimulate a momentary sense of pleasure. True pleasure in practice arises with increasing inner awareness.

The last yama, aparigraha, literally means “not everywhere grasping.” In asana this might mean practicing with containment, focus, and direction, but not with the greedy ambition of the over- or under-inflated ego. As Vanda Scaravelli eloquently put it, “Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose.” Let the essence of the pose direct you by moving deeply into the feeling and breath in the posture. Stay present with the moment and the flow of the pose, curbing the tendency to reach for excuses, lists of things to do, or other poses with which you can avoid what might be uncomfortable business right here in this moment.

Practicing the Observances (Niyamas)

Sthira-sukham asanam.” Asana is steadiness and ease, says the Yoga Sutra. Steadiness and comfort in a posture result from observing santosha, contentment. That doesn’t mean complacency or laziness, but rather a fullness of experience and gratitude for that experience. Contentment may be most difficult to practice in those moments when you realize that today’s posture is not yesterday’s—that today you feel stiffer or more distracted than you did yesterday. Dropping judgment and your attachment to the results will help develop santosha and let you be fully present without the crippling effect of constantly passing judgment on yourself.

The second observance is saucha, cleanliness. Cleanliness applies to both the inner and outer environment, and is both physical and mental. As your practice progresses and you become more self-aware, you’ll notice the profound effect diet can have on your asana practice. Overeating or eating the wrong foods, especially those with too much sugar and fat, will often show up in the body as stiffness in the joints, or weakness. An unhealthy diet or poor digestion impedes progress in asana over the long term because the body is unable to get or stay purified. Likewise, disturbing, negative thoughts and emotions destroy practice by creating a dirty internal environment. Internal cleanliness is the outcome of not only diet and lifestyle, but also of the thinking process.

Tapas, the third niyama, literally means “heat.” It is often translated as “discipline” or “austerities.” Obviously, self-discipline is a primary requirement for maintaining and deepening asana practice. To regularly and willingly put yourself into a position of slight discomfort and to confront old habit patterns takes a great deal of self-discipline. The trick is to keep your intentions in mind, practice the other yamas and niyamas such as contentment, honesty, and non-violence, and then embrace the fire, so that the practice becomes a pleasure, and difficulties become interesting challenges. The practice of tapas allows us to move in a direction other than the path of least resistance, and thus reconfigure the mental and physical templates that govern our behavior.

Every posture is an opportunity for svadhyaya, self-study—an opportunity to become more aware of the body and its feelings, to study your restrictions, to explore, to experiment. Use variations of pashchimottanasana to expand your understanding of the alignment in the pelvis and unconscious tendencies to avoid tightness.

Try pressing the soles of the feet against the wall to see how evenly the legs are extended from the pelvis and to explore the tightness in the back of the legs. Does this affect the pelvis and the back of the legs? Beyond the obvious exploration of the pose, perhaps a reminder of the larger context or goals of practice, or a bit of inspiration from scriptural sources to remind yourself of the nature of the true higher self will put your practice in proper perspective. Many of the obstacles to enjoying and deepening practice disappear or become manageable by a simple shift of intention with svadhyaya.

And finally, in asana, we bring the body, breath, and awareness into harmony, surrendering our limited sense of being, our ideas about what the posture should look like, how we should feel, and what will happen. Pashchimottanasana is a particularly good posture for exploring the notion of surrender, one aspect of Ishvara-pranidhana. Even if you are able to move deeply into the pose, you may enjoy a supported version. Place a bolster between your legs and release your belly and chest onto the support. Turn your head to one side, rest your arms comfortably and draw the breath effortlessly deep into the body. The supported nature of the posture allows you to quietly open and release, surrendering with single-minded concentration to the new edge which may appear.

A Deeply Satisfying Practice

Release paschimottanasana slowly with full awareness of the movement. A long hold in an extreme position calls for a gentle counterpose. Place your hands on the floor behind you under the shoulders and lift the chest, pressing the spine toward the front of the body. Avoid collapsing the back of the neck by keeping the head forward or the face parallel to the ceiling. Then rest, giving yourself a chance to incorporate the changes you have made.

Finally, be patient. New habits in the body and mind don’t manifest in a single session. Self-transformation requires persistence and consistency in practice, as well as working gently but strictly and thoroughly with the mind as much as with the body. Let the yamas and niyamas guide your attitude in practice and move your whole being toward the ultimate goal of yoga.

Best Cellulite Remover Juice

The one thing that people can never stop, no matter how hard they try is time. Time always kicks in the process of aging and it’s the natural body response that gets us – the most harsh of them all is the cellulite.

Best Cellulite Remover Juice

When cellulite starts showing on the thighs and hips, women immediately start feeling like they are fifty years old (even though they hardly reached thirty). Cellulites are not toxin accumulations in the body or poor blood circulation for that matter; they are fats which are pressed against the vertical connective tissues in the thighs and hips, so the cells bulge out and cause the skin to dimple.

 There are four reasons why this happens – Diet, lifestyle, hormonal changes and genetics. They don’t have a certain age starter, which means they can appear before reaching 30 years of age as easy as it can reach teenagers before graduating from high school.

In order to prevent cellulite from appearing or eliminating it once it has appear, here is a recipe for a drink that can make that happen.

Ingredients:

– 1 large grapefruit
– 2 oranges
– ¼ of a lemon
– ½ inch piece of ginger

The preparation is very simple:
Just make the juice with all these ingredients and enjoy.
This remedy will improve the circulation of the blood, it will break down the sugar, it will burn all the excess fats in the body, it will reduce water retention and it will produce collagen that can firm up the skin.

5 FREE Tips to help clear out toxins, increase your energy and decrease your cellulite! by jennpike

I am blown away by the amount of crazy myths, lies and weight loss and cellulite reducing urban legends that still exist out there.  What is most upsetting is that I see people trying so hard and failing… and then giving up hope, only because they have been following the wrong set of rules and crappy programs. 

You have cellulite because your body is out of balance and there is a certain level of toxicity that your body simply isn’t managing well so it’s pressing to the surface; annoying and frustrating you to get your attention loud and clear!

You don’t have cellulite and excess puffiness on your body because you don’t apply cellulite cream or exfoliate everyday or take a shot of wheatgrass in the morning and forgot to run your 5 km 4 times this week.

You have cellulite because something needs to shift. Your body is toxic and FED UP! These ridiculous claims, products and promises only lead to increasing your misery by making you feel overwhelmed, confused and like your efforts are worthless.

Let me share a few steps with you that must start happening if you want to feel and look better.

Because your life is precious, and it is passing.

And YOU get to determine how you live it

1) Eat Clean and Alkalize Your Body: To move toxins out of fat cells and from your body we don’t cut you open and suck them out, we draw them out. You need to cut the crap from your diet and consume more balancing, nutrient-dense, alkalizing foods and reduce the amount of harmful acidic foods that are creating inflammation and fat-storing pockets of toxins that show up on your rear, your thighs, arms and abdomen as dimply, lumpy cellulite land mines. Your diet needs to be made up of a variety of healthy; mostly organic, fruits and vegetables, healthy hydrating fats and good quality protein to chelate (bind) to the acidic toxic build up, drawing it out to be removed from your body.

2) Hydrate and Flush: If you take away only one thing from this email let it be this – DRINK WATER! You must drink enough water and eat hydrating foods to help flush and remove the toxins from your system through you and out. Water is essential to decreasing cellulite. Dehydration in your body leads to trapped toxins in your fat cells, which causes them to swell and pres up against the skins surface, plus you will retain more water being dehydrated because your body needs, but is barely getting any and will hold onto whatever is can so you end up have cellulite AND felling puffy. 

For best results drink 2-4 liters of good quality, not from a plastic bottle, water each and every day.

3) Break Up With Your Crack: Caffeine, sugar, salt, wine, beer, chocolate, dairy – what is your drug of choice? I say drug because that is exactly what all of these items are; highly addictive and creating the same level of stimulation to certain areas of your cerebral cortex that illicit the same opiate “feel-good” feeling that drugs such as cocaine, heroin or uppers would do. I know you believe that it is your taste buds and your stomach crying out for these treats but it’s not IT’S YOUR ADDICTED BRAIN looking for its next HIGH and stimulant, your poor little adrenals will soon begin to mimic this exact message creating out of control cravings, an insulin muffin top over your pants and squishy cottage-cheese thighs out of your undies, yes even the granny undies and control topJ

Once you connect to the realization that your unhealthy, daily addictions are contributing to your cellulite and zero energy, no sex drive, bunged up bum and lackluster skin; it will feel so freeing to break up with your crack and move on.

4) Move Your Garbage Towards The Exit Sign: In order to truly detoxify your body effectively and efficiently you must make sure your back-end is moving well and regularly “aka” you must be pooping daily! If you are trying to cleanse and flush everything from the top down, but your gut and intestinal system aren’t functioning well and you are dealing with constipation; then all of the junk and debris you are pulling from your fat cells and organs will back up into your system and re-circulate causing even more problems. Poop needs to flow in order for toxins to flush.

If you are not having healthy bowel movements your cellulite will be hanging around for a long time.

5) Get Stimulated: Lets’ get your lymphatic system moving and create some heat and buffering in your body! Daily dry brushing, massage, Epsom salts baths, certain essential oils and rebounding are effective ways to move the toxins through your lymph system and out to your major excretory organs; lungs, liver, bowels and skin.

Daily EXERCISE is probably the best way to get things moving and build lean muscle tissue which helps to firm and tone your body head to toe. You will never change the shape of your body, lose your cellulite or increase your core metabolic function by cardio alone. So get off the treadmill and into the weight room. 

Plus, all of these suggestions above for your lymph system help to decrease your major stress hormone cortisol and increase the amount of endorphins and serotonin you are producing – these are your feel good hormones, literally your body’s own natural anti-depressants.

What You Should Know About Your Liver: Part 2 by Melina Meza

In part one of Things to Know About Your Liver, I I focused on the organ’s role in daily detoxification and what types of foods and lifestyle practices are recommended for optimal liver health. In today’s article I’d like to highlight the liver’s metabolic processes and throw some science your way to help you understand how food is broken down in your body–demonstrate how essential the liver is in converting food into what you are becoming. 

You’ve probably have heard of that old saying “you are what you eat.” After reading more about the liver and metabolism, you’ll understand how important a healthy diet and lifestyle are to maintaining a healthy liver. Think of your liver like a laboratory. Within its structure, you will find the right tools to nourish and detoxify the entire body, break down blood, make or store vitamins and minerals, and partake in breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Fat Metabolism:

If it weren’t for your liver, which makes a molecule called bile (bile acids) that help you absorb fat from your gut into your bloodstream, you probably wouldn’t be able to utilize all the good fats you get from your diet. A few examples of foods rich in good fats include olive, flax, or sunflower oil; avocados; almonds; cashews; legumes; and fish.

In fat metabolism, the liver cells break down the fat and produce energy–approximately 800 to 1,000 milliliters of bile each day. Bile is important for the breakdown and absorption of fats. Fat bile gets released from your gall bladder where it’s stored before it’s released into your small intestine where it combines and hooks up with fat molecules. The fat you consume actually gets into the blood stream via the lymphatic system, not directly into the blood stream like sugars do. 

Carbohydrate Metabolism:

When the food you eat gets broken down into small sugar molecules, sugar can get transferred directly across the membrane of your small intestine, right into your blood stream and capillaries. When it gets transported into the liver, it gets packaged into bigger packages that can be stored for later when your body needs energy. In the metabolism of carbohydrates, the liver helps to ensure that the level of sugar in your blood (blood glucose) stays constant. If your blood sugar levels increase (for example, after a meal) the liver removes sugar from blood supplied by the portal vein and stores it in the form of glycogen. If someone’s blood sugar levels are too low, the liver breaks down glycogen and releases sugar into the blood. As well as sugar, the liver also stores vitamins and minerals (such as iron and copper), and releases them into the blood when needed. 

Protein Metabolism:

Proteins get broken down in your stomach and intestines into their smallest components called amino acids. The amino acids get delivered right across the lining of your gut and they get taken into the liver where the liver helps metabolize the amino acids. Liver cells change amino acids in foods so that they can be used to produce energy, or make carbohydrates or fats. Most of the proteins found in your blood stream are called albumin. Albumin is an important part of your blood and helps it function normally. 

Recap:

To recap what we’ve covered thus far, when it comes to metabolism, the liver gets fats into the blood stream for processing, takes sugars and packages them for storage, and takes amino acids and converts them into helpful molecules that make energy, muscle, and protein for your blood. And this is just scratching the surface of what your liver is responsible for every day. Because the liver performs so many vital functions, it is prone to compromised function.

What steps can you take to prevent weakening your liver?

Let’s start by taking a look at your body’s fuel: your food. Take care of your liver by eating a balanced whole foods diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding the following: 

1. Over-eating as a general rule

2. Processed foods

3. Frequent use of alcohol or drugs, pesticides, and chemical cleaners

What you take into your body, as well as expose it to, has a significant impact on your health. I hope this article has helped expand your awareness of what your liver is up to on a daily basis, and has inspired you to take good care of this precious organ.