Holistic Life Hack : 7 In Season Foods to Eat Yourself Hydrated!

Water is the essence of life. How long can we survive without it? A mere 3-5 days! It is vital to every organ, every cell, every function of our bodies. You know how essential water is, but are you getting your recommended 8-10 glasses of water a day?

melon slice

~ Big Hard Sun ~

In the sweltering heat of summer, we never seem to get enough water. In fact, studies show that we can lose up to 1.5L of water through sweat alone in intense heat. This is why 8-10 glasses in summer may not suffice some days, especially if you’re active….
ACTIVE-ist month: the combination of summer’s heat and outdoor activity level may leave you sweating much of the water out of your system and in need of proper replenishment. In this case, water needs will increase. Water should be consumed in abundance before your workout to sustain hydration levels, during long or intense workouts and after a workout, for adequate replenishment. It is critical to note that electrolyte balance is essential to getting this water into your cells. When we sweat, we displace this delicate electrolyte balance. During a sweaty workout and afterwards, we should be drinking the electrolyte elixir (a junk free energy drink to be featured this Friday! Stay tuned). After this, our cells are prepped and thirsty and ready to soak in all the refreshing water.
watermelon bowl
As if it wasn’t enough to fit in 8-10 glasses of water into our day, we should not be drinking within 30 minutes of eating and should wait another hour after our meal. So when are we supposed to drink?! Well there’s a sneaky trick and with that, here comes your holistic life hack: hump day edition: Here’s how to EAT yourself hydrated with the season!
Water, Water, Everywhere: 
1) watermelon! 
  • Take a juicy slice of this 92% water summer superfood while it remains in season, but just remember the rule of thumb for melons: eat alone or leave alone.
2) Cucumber 
  • 96% water
3) Tomatoes 
  • About 93% water
4) cantaloupe 
  • 90% water
5) Peaches! 
  • 88% water
6) Apricots 
  • 86% water
7) plums 
  • 85% water

What you’re left with is no excuse not to be hydrated this summer. These local foods are my breakfast fruit bowl staples. I think by the pictures it’s easy to tell which fruit may just be my favourite…  They are all light foods, easily digestible, have natural sugars for a burst of energy while coupled with fibre to balance blood sugar, are alkalinizing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and of course, super packed with water! But hurry: while supplies last.

Biting into this seasons hydration,

Suzanne Eden

5 minute Mango Sorbet & the Simplicity of Health

Effortless, wholesome and refreshing, mango sorbet has won my heart as one of my favourite breakfasts this summer. Yes, breakfast! I’ve taken to weekly visits to our small run, local store which keeps over-ripe fruit marked down on a sales rack for mango savvy scavengers such as myself to snatch up and take home. Unbenounced to the customers with their eyes on the “new” produce, this sunny fruit is at its sweetest and juiciest when fully ripened and soft to the touch, rippling slightly across the skin. A word of caution: they are so juicy that I have tie dyed a number of my white shirts in spatters and streaks of vibrant (and very noticeable) yellow. I come home with  a couple of bags of ripe mangoes, slice them up, eat some of course, and store the rest in the freezer for a couple of days worth of mango smoothies, salads and sorbet. Who knew a healthy diet could incorporate mango sorbet for breakfast!

~ The simplicity of health ~

Life is amazingly good when it’s simple and amazingly simple when it’s good. ~Terri Guillemets

One of the greatest routines we can give ourselves is to set aside an hour of peace each morning. Doing so first thing in the morning will set a powerful intention for the rest of the day to come. It’s a time to drink lemon water, read, write, go for a walk in the quiet streets, watch the sunrise creep over the rooftops, meditate, become silent.  Whatever it is you need, let it be peaceful.  For me, this is a sacred time. I typically wake around 6am (which is the optimal rising time in Ayurvedic principles) to watch the day renew itself with the sunrise while the streets are quiet and still. It’s peaceful and blissful. In accordance with this principle, our diet should follow suit, consisting mostly of very  simple meals.

Why eat simply

  • Simplicity allows for easy digestion. Digestion is one of our body systems that uses the most energy, which is why when we’re stressed and our bodies are prepping for a potential need to run, digestion is one of the first things that is compromised. It’s all about energy! By conserving our energy resources, our body puts the energy towards healing, detoxifying (which we are always doing), and supporting our activities throughout the day. This is, in fact, one of the keys to anti aging.

How to eat simply

  • One way is to eat only a few ingredients at one meal. My brunch this morning was what’s called a monomeal, simply meaning a one ingredient meal. In truth, there’s two other ingredients but there’s just a little bit, still very simple.
A second word of caution: it’s important to be incorporating variety into your diet so be sure to be eating all different foods no matter how simple your meals. I may enjoy my mangos a lot, but I switch it up at least every three days.

ACTIVE-ist

  • Eating monomeals is one way to eat before a workout. Being easily digestible, they won’t weigh you down while exercising. Basic banana smoothies are one of my pre workout go tos offering energy sustaining carbohydrates and potassium to avoid muscle cramping. Note: not everyone digests bananas well. If they cause bloating or stomach upset, this would not be a good pre-workout option for you.
Mango sorbet made… simply!
Not only quick and easy to make, this sorbet is a refreshing jolt of nutrition on a blistering summers day (for which today is not, yet it was delightful none the less).
Here is why this sorbet is simply holistic:
  • Both mangos and limes are rich sources of vitamin C: the miracle vitamin to be consumed in abundance as it increases our defense against infections, is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
  • Mangos are a great source of B vitamins for increased energy to help you become a morning person!
  • Limes are known to increase the secretion of digestive juices leading to better digestion thereby helping to conserve your energy

mango sorbet

Mango Sorbet Recipe

(Adventurous scale: Level 1)

1 Frozen and cubed mango

2-3 Tsp fresh lime juice

Stevia to taste

(The stevia is optional but I use about 2-3 drops)

Directions

Leave the mango cubes out of the freezer to soften slightly (about 10 minutes). Put in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding both the lime juice (which will help it blend) and stevia to taste. The more powerful the blender, the less time it will take to reach this smooth consistency.

One last word of caution: your humble garden bumbles may want in on this too!
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
To a simply sobert kind of day,
Suzanne Eden

Walk This Way: 14 Reasons to Strut Your Stuff

Another one bites the dust

Thursday morning began with a phone call explaining that my car had bit the dust. By the end of the day, I had bought my first official car and in that spirit, I decided to do a blog post on the power of, well… walking. Fitting, no?

In truth, I’m the first to understand that a car can be extremely useful. Our bus systems here are unreliable and an hour and a half clocked on before and after work just isn’t practical, leaving me incredibly blessed to have my hands on a new steering wheel. That being said, it’s all too easy to become dependent and so I try to get out and walk or bike places as much as possible.

The Sedentary Facts

  • A 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey on Canadian’s activity levels showed, at 48%, that almost half of Canadians twelve or older spent less than half an hour walking a day with 25% admitting to sitting the majority of the day. 41% reported spending less than an hour to walk to work or for errands.

It seems walking is in our nature, but not in our routine.

Alexander bridge

Do you fall under the common misconception that a workout needs to be strenuous to be effective? Think again! We spent all day Wednesday touring the grounds of the Toronto Zoo and by the end, we were all feeling the day’s work and were sprawled out on a picnic blanket with empty water bottles, waiting for refreshments and a wholesome meal. Simple walking is an easy and accessible way to incorporate working out into our daily routine. The goal being to make it less of a workout and more of a lifestyle. We should take a cue from the European lifestyle of walking everywhere and implement this into our daily life for weight loss and general health and wellness. After all, these legs were made for walking and this is what they’ll do:

  1. Walk your way to health
  • Regular movement protects us from disease through many mechanisms including reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar levels, and reducing obesity rates.

      2.  Steps to an ecological footprint

  • No equipment needs to be manufactured and operated, no facility needed beyond the great outdoors, no gas emissions to get you there, this is the environment’s finest of workouts.

     3. Walk off excess fat

  • Any exercise will assist in weight loss, yet walking may burn a higher percentage of fat than will high intensity exercises. It’s important to note that true weight loss is derived from more than just body fat percentage yet low intensity exercise has also been shown to have higher compliance rates, meaning you’re more likely to stick with it!

     4. Refreshing but not exhausting

  • Walking uses less energy resources than do higher intensity workouts. Even after a long day’s work, a gentle walk is enough to rejuvenate and relax the body.

    5. How we are designed

  • Rule of thumb for your health: live as you were designed to live!

     6. Happiness is just a step away

  • Studies have shown that regular exercise such as a brisk walk may be as effective as antidepressants in cases of mild to moderate depression!

      7. Brain fuel

  • Walking can stimulate the brain, improve memory, increase cognitive performance, and may even boost creativity! All heightened when coupled with the clean oxygen provided by a walk in nature.

     8. Productivity

  • Studies show an increase in workplace productivity when walking was incorporated into the workday routine. Some of these studies used “treadmill desks” as the source of walking. There’s no excuse NOT to walk with that one!

     9. Stress reduction

  • There are many ways this happens but an interesting one: it boosts your feel-good endorphins and kicks your stress hormones to the curb!

    10. Calm mind

  • Many studies show that walking can put us in a meditative state. Om on.

    11. Immunity boosting

  • Studies have shown positive effects on the immune system when walking for 30 minute periods. This is once again strengthened in the outdoors when you reap the benefits of fresh air, vitamin D and the soothing effects of nature.

     12. Digest this

  • Gentle walking 40-60 minutes after a meal is a great way to improve digestion by stimulating the internal organs allowing food to pass through the system faster.

     13. Free to a good roam

  • No equipment, no money needed!

     14. Conveniently located

  • Whenever, wherever, a walk is a step away.

 

Walk this way: guidelines to increase the benefits of your daily walk:

  • Take it outdoors away from big cities for air quality and immerse yourself in as many natural surroundings as possible
  • Aim for 30 mins. or more brisk walking per day and focus on engaging your muscles
  • Make it your top mode of transportation, whether through errands, going to walk, walking at your lunch break, whatever it is,  make it a routine.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

– Lao Tzu

Walking the way to health,

Suzanne Eden

The Top 5 Workout Routines that are Meant to be Broken!

Good morning readers!
I’m writing from my rooftop where I’ve taken to listening to the music festival in the park as the sound reverberates off the houses, early morning nutritional reads and now writing to you. It’s an odd obsession I have with doing things that aren’t laid out for me. If this were a balcony which was meant to be sat on, it just wouldn’t have the same allure. Not only that, but this has taken me out of my daily routine where I can now people watch unbenounced upon neighbours passing below and unwittingly attract a few bees in the process (must be the coconut oil moisturizer!). What I didn’t realize about removing the screen was that it was not as easy to put back in place as it was to remove and now with a broken window screen comes the metaphor for today’s ACTIVE-ist blog: that routines are meant to be broken!

Rooftop

Here are the top 5 workout routines you need to start breaking!

  1.  Revamp your moves
  • Do you always do the same routine? The same arm and ab workouts? The same yoga sequences? It’s time to switch it up! It can be all too easy to stay in a workout that is both comfortable and familiar but what worked a month ago may not be working as well for you now.
  • When to change your routine?
    You don’t need to change it all the time, in fact, it’s important to have consistency. The key reason to change:
    Your progress diminishes. Muscles habituate and become used to the workouts after a period of time. Switching up your routine will start to work new muscles and counteract this issue.

2. The same type of workout

  • This is where we exercise mentality. Doing the same type of workout will often lead to boredom and boredom leads to a lack of motivation causing the individual to either become lazy and not exercise at peak level or to fall out of their exercise routine entirely. In either case, this should be avoided. You want to enjoy exercise! Whether it be running, swimming, yoga, biking, you name it! Variety is the spice of life.

3. The space you workout

  • Always go to a studio or a gym? Try home workouts or ones out in nature and vise versa. This is for the same reasons as number 2. However, it is also beneficial as we may find better exercising strategies while doing this.
  • For example: I went from doing yoga in a studio and found that the studio gave more variety (every time we went was something different), caused me to workout harder having people there to take me deeper into my practise, and made me more accountable for my workouts. After about a year, however, I felt the lack of yoga motivation creep in. I stopped yoga for about 2 weeks and resumed my practise in the backyard. When I took my practise on my own outdoors, I felt a deeper connection through grounding, felt energised from the oxygen and was able to move according to what my body needed that day.
  • The point being that both in studio and out of studio offer amazing and different benefits and knowing what they offer, I can now choose what will be right for my exercise any particular day. Get to know your different spaces so that you can give your body what it needs.

4. Working out all at once and lounging the rest of the day

  • This is definitely a rut to break! As humans, this is not our design. We need consistent stimulation for optimal health and wellness. A rest period after an intense workout is a good idea but if you use workouts as an excuse to become a couch potato (or a roof potato) the rest of the day, your body will suffer. We should be getting up and moving at least every 30 minutes. Light exercise eg., walking, some yoga stretches or commercial break jumping jacks, will help prevent lymph stagnation, increase blood flow, enhance mental clarity and help to mobilize toxins in the body. This is how you were designed! Your body and your mind will thank you.

5. Your eating routine

  • Eating the same way for workouts as you would any other time won’t give you the best results. You want to optimize your workout and the repair process that takes place afterward. This means that you should tailor your diet to the type, duration, time of workout etc.

Yesterday my activity went from walking, to biking to swimming (more like running laps in a freezing, cold pool to prevent hypothermia) and today? Who knows! The one thing I do know is that with the heat making a much wanted comeback, it will be entirely different from yesterday’s routine,

Kicking off ACTIVE-ist month,
Suzanne Eden