Manifest Monday // The Brain Hack To Instantly Boost Your Health

If I were to ask you right now, “how are you?,” what would your response be?

Much of the time we tend to answer this question with an “I am” or an “I am feeling,” but is this the most productive way? Our brains respond differently to an “I am” vs an “I feel” response and I am about to show you how to use this to your best advantage to cultivate health!

brain hacks

It is a quick holistic life hack that can instantly give you more health, happiness, feelings of abundance and live everyday this week on an empowered note with this week’s Prescription For Wellness Challenge! Here’s how it works:

 

I think therefore, I AM

  • “I am” is an affirmative statement. It is making a statement about our identity that is then planted in our minds. With repetition, these statements become us. It is saying that “this feeling or this state of health is who I am.” The fact of the matter is that you are not this emotion or feeling, or illness.
  • Much of how our body conducts itself is based largely on our thoughts and beliefs. It is the placebo effect in action. If you are in the healing process, for example, think of this illness as being something other than you. You are not what needs to be healed nor are you your feelings and when you connect to this, they will hold less control over you and you will be better equipped to deal with them.
  • Prescription for wellness: When using an “I am” statement, always and only use it in a positive context. What we say we are, we become.

 

I feel …

  • “I feel” holds less power. Feelings are not permanent. When we express ourselves this way we are stating our feelings in the moment but not trapping them in our psyche. It is okay to express ourselves, no feeling is “wrong” but we want to do so in a productive manner that doesn’t keep us trapped in those feelings.
  • Holistic life hacks: Want to feel instantly more energised? Next time you feel tiredness within you, think to yourself “I am tired.” Sit with this for a moment and observe how you feel. Then change this to the statement “I am energised.” Really feel it. Convince yourself that you are energized. Did you notice a difference? Much of how we feel throughout the day is based largely on what we are telling ourselves and what we believe ourselves to be. So choose to speak of what you want to feel and choose to speak of health!

 

There is ____ within me.

  • I first heard this statement from Eckhart Tolle. It implies neither that we are our feelings or illness nor that we must remain with them. It denounces them. Disempowers them and puts you in control and assists in making you feel empowered with the ability to change your current circumstance. In neuroscience, this statement has been studied as an “I am doing” implying you can simply stop doing that emotion and thereby choose another. Whichever statement works for you, use that! Ultimately, you are in control, but what we feed our minds is equally as important as what we feed our bodies!

 

Brain Fuel Cheat Sheet

  • If you are feeling tired, or are speaking of an illness within you, do so sparingly and use the statement “there is ____ within me” or “I am doing.” You might say something like “there is tiredness with me” or “I am doing fatigue.” These hold the least power, are impermanent and allow you to take control of the situation.

 

  • When expressing positive emotions and health conditions, do so with an “I am” or “I feel” statement to cement these positive aspects into your psyche and attract more of it!

Prescription For Wellness Challenge

  • This week, use these brain hacks every time you think or speak about how you feel or the state of your health. The point here is to become conscious of how we are responding, to direct our responses positively and to make this a habit. Talk to others and tell yourself more of what you want and use these tricks to make yourself feel instantly more energised, motivated, empowered and healthy!

 

I feel that this week is going to be an inspired one,

Suzanne Eden

6 (Or 1776) Ways To Step Up Your ACTIVEist Routine

The results are in!
1, 776 stairs, 5,200 climbers, 144 flights, and nearly 1,000,ooo dollars raised to support endangered species!!
To my fellow climbers who joined me in Toronto for the 25th annual CN tower climb this year and those who supported us climbers with your pledges (right down to that $.0.25, you know who you are 😉 ), allow me to just step up here and say a huge thank you! That is an amazing amount raised in support of our wildlife.
WWF
When it comes to giving back to our endangered species, these are a few of my favourite things we can do all year round;
1. Give A Panda
  • Or any species! Who wouldn’t want to adopt an exotic animal as a gift and they are exceptionally easy to care for. They need long strolls through their natural habitats and to be fed by hunting the grounds you’re helping to protect simply by donating.  This is one of my favourite gifts to give and receive.

2. Donate money

  • I remember scouring the playground as a child collecting data on everyone’s favourite foods to create a cookbook that would raise profits for WWF. Another business venture was to fundraise with garage sales. Now though the cookbook has yet to come out, and would have a slightly different, more holistic spin on it, there are easy ways to fundraise and/or donate and the WWF website has plenty of ideas to spark your creativity.

How can we support wildlife through our diet?

Check out the earth day post;https://lifeofeden.com/2015/04/23/earth-day-birthdays-5-small-steps-to-small-ecological-footprints/

Anything that is supporting our earth is consequently supporting the preservation of our wildlife and the bonus? This all comes full circle to help us as well.

parisian view
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (or 1776).”
– Lao Tzu
 With everything you need within walking distance, biking rentals, to busy sidewalks, Toronto was bursting with active inspiration and these are …
6 Ways To Step Up Your ACTIVEist Routine as inspired by the big city

 

 

Step 1

DO eat a power breakfast

  • There is, without a doubt, no way that I could have turned down the free Tim Hortons coffee offered to me on the streets of Toronto at 7am if it wasn’t for my plant-based green start. With the WWF CN tower climb beginning at 6am, I was graciously welcomed into my friend’s loft for the night, for a good sleep which inevitably turned into late night market runs, ukulele playing and gabbing over nutrition things well into the early morning. It is with great thanks to that grocery run as I found all of my energy in spotted bananas and fresh produce sprawled out on the countertops for the ultimate ACTIVEist plan(e)t powered breakfast!
  • When engaging in a light morning workout such as yoga, I prefer to be on an empty stomach. But for a prolonged time in the city, or far climb up a tower, food is a definite necessity for energy and I suggest steel cut oats for complex carbohydrates or green smoothies  for an easily digestible zap of nutrients.
planet powered
The energizing green smoothie : spotted banana | almond milk | spinach | green apple | MCT oil for an added boost (you can alternatively use some coconut oil with contains MCTs but in a less concentrated dose)
Step 2
DO get moving early 
  • Whether it be 1 am or 6am, there are no shortages of people in the streets. As I navigated my way through Toronto with the tower as my compass, I was accompanied by everyone from business men in fine tailored suits to joggers in sweat pants and sneakers actively welcoming in the morning.
  • While we sleep our bodies are stagnant. Morning movement stimulates the hormones that help to regulate our sleep cycles so that we feel more refreshed upon waking. It also moves the lymphatic system for detoxification,  gets blood flow and oxygen to our brains to help us feel more energised and alert (no caffeine fix needed!), and it supercharges our metabolism for the day ahead!
Step 3
Do NOT stay up all night
  • A tired mind and body is a recipe for exercise fatigue and lack of motivation. Our late night grocery run was accompanied by a city full of lively, and slightly intoxicated people. Not something you see here in a small neighbourhood and I was assured that this was normal all week round. Seems the big city wore off on me with a late Friday night and so Saturday morning’s smoothie sported the added boost of MCT oil for an additional kick and was followed by B vitamins.
  • B vitamins are necessary in the body’s conversion of sugars and proteins into energy and are essential to the repair of muscles post workout. B vitamins are found in whole food sources such as dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds and whole grains. This is another reason I recommend steel-cut oats or green smoothies as an ideal pre-workout meal. I also supplement a B-complex to get the synergistic effect of the full spectrum of B vitamins.

 

Step 4
DO use your legs as public transportation
  •  Take it from me, Toronto is not a fun city to drive through. From taxi cabs that drive like they do in NYC to confusing streets littered with construction and pedestrians, I had avoided such an excursion for years and always managed to make my way up by bus (also because this is much better for the environment). This time, however, I couldn’t escape the drive and with a GPS in tow for my directionally challenged self, the only time I was lost was in the parking lot trying to relocate my car.
  • Whether walking or biking (I hope more of these bike rentals make their way through cities!) get active in your every day routine. Instead of driving to the grocery store, walk or bike. It may not be a block from your studio flat but it is fantastic exercise. Instead of taking the elevators take the stairs. Unless you work at the CN tower, I guarantee you there won’t be 1,774 of them but these are small steps to big steps for your ACTIVEist routine!

 

bike!

 Step 5
DO NOT run in a big city
  • The sure-fire way to toxify your lungs is to take in big, heaping breaths of pollution as you do when exercising. Around here I run and bike the trails and water front and avoid big streets like the plaque if I can help it. Now of course, if you’re in the big city, I am not suggesting you don’t bike to get around but if aiming for a workout, get fresh air into your routine as much as possible.
  • If you are around big city streets, load up on vitamin C! This vitamin detoxifies over fifty undesirable substances including exhaust fumes, neutralises free radicals and is important in the repair of tissues post-workout. Dark leafy greens and citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, another win for green smoothies, but the dosing needed to combat big city pollution will have you taking additional supplements. I talk more about vitamin C here: https://lifeofeden.com/2015/04/18/from-sea-to-c-a-plant-powered-toronto-roadtrip-orange-overload/
Step 6
DO talk to people
  • We, as humans, are social creatures and it’s ironic that with so many people around, big cities can seem incredibly isolating. But this is the perfect opportunity to make someone’s day. It was the first time I’ve done this climb alone and I was thrilled as this was all the more opportunity to meet new people!
  • Exercise alone will  boost your feel good endorphins but studies have shown that being with others can elevated these levels further! For an ACTIVEist, endorphins help by modulating appetite, cause us to feel less pain (especially useful when you start feeling the burn just 10 flights up!) and are responsible for the euphoric feelings experienced. Whether it be offering up a coffee (or green juice) to someone on the street, striking up a conversation in a long CN tower line or simply popping a smile as you walk by, take every opportunity to connect. Anything to get those endorphins in big, heaping proportions!

 

 

This year my climb time clocked in at 22:54. But after meeting a new friend Sergio in line who claimed he hadn’t trained (I think he was bluffing) and who darted off on me in the first minute, I think it’s safe to say that I will be training up for next year! If you ran, leave me your time in the comments below, I would love to know and perhaps I will “run” into some of you next year 🙂

 

Stepping out to catch the fireworks tonight,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

Mothers Day Gatherings With The Mediterranean Lentil Summer Salad

This was a smashing hit this weekend at our Mother’s Day gathering (as evidenced by the lack of salad that made its way home to me) and it’s about time for another recipe!
  • Have you tried lentils before? They are one of my favourite plant-based ways to pack protein and fibre into my diet. When prepared properly they are easily digested, simple to make and we always have organic bags of them stocked in our cold cellar ready to cook up in a pinch. So whether you are looking for a way to dip a spoon into these legumes or are on the hunt for the ultimate entertaining salad for summer BBQ’s, this dish is your holistic fix!
   But first, a little taste of Mother’s Day…
oh she glows
 
We spent a “heartfelt” Mother’s Day bonding for bunch with these golden chia bagels from the “Oh She Glows” cookbook with dollops of homemade strawberry jam.
  • I made the jam using frozen organic strawberries which are more cost-effective and last longer than the fresh ones. When flash frozen, they maintain the same nutrient value they had fresh, though warming them as you do with this recipe, will unfortunately destroy most of its nutrients anyways.
  • In the bagels, I recommend using maple syrup as opposed to honey as it is more heat-resistant. These bagels are cooked at a very low temperature which is optimal and my mother, and a fellow coworker I shared them with, loved them! It was a good thing for extra ingredients as I maaay have spent Saturday night whipping up another batch after eating the first one straight out of the oven… oops!
 Though I wasn’t able to attend our Mother’s Day gathering this year, we packed up this Mediterranean salad for everyone to enjoy. We are so spoiled as our families get togethers are ripe with fresh veggie platters (much of which is supplied via my grandparent’s garden) with homemade dips & hummus and feature healthy dinners always tailored to our dairy-free, gluten-free needs! But this salad offers the perfect holistic life hack if you find yourself in a situation where it is the only healthy dish on the menu as the high protein content, fibre and healthy fats make this a light but hearty salad so that you can fill up with lentils and take smaller samplings of the rest of the food and/or desserts.
entertaining
The Mediterranean Lentil Summer Salad
Light, effortless and wholesome, this is the perfect entertaining salad for all of your summer gatherings!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked red or green lentils (soaked overnight)
  • 1-1/2 cups quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled and quartered cucumber
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (organic as it is part of the dirty dozen)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • ½ cup pitted olives (black or green. I go based on which organic ones I can find and pit them myself)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves or cilantro
  • Optional but reccommended; 1-2 Avocados!

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey (raw, unpasteurized, unprocessed)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Rinse and cook the soaked lentils as instructed on the package and allow to cool (This can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge).
  • Combine all salad ingredients (except avos) in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and gently mix into the salad. Add the avocado, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavours to come together. We prepared this dish the night before for an easy morning.
The Switch Ups:
To take you through the remaining few days of our seven days of salads challenge, there are lots of tasty things you can do to revamp this dish!
  • Make wraps with lettuce wraps, raw wraps or rice wraps and include avocado, sprouts, a little mustard or hummus or whatever other wholesome toppings you might enjoy.
  • Use it as a topping for a big, green salad
  • Stuff roasted red peppers, Portobello mushroom caps or squash
  • create a rustic “salsa” type of dip for brown rice or nut and seed crackers
Whether entertaining your family or an entire crowd, this simple, wholesome and yummy salad is your new quick fix go-to and  the perfect way to conclude our final days of the seven days of salads challenge!
To a deliciously plant powered weekend,
Suzanne Eden

The Rocky Road & This Weeks Seven Days Of Salads Challenge!

I’ve got a challenge for you this week!

It is so simple and a brilliant reboot for our health. I did it quietly for myself this past week (minus a pit stop… or two, for some dairy free gelato) and then a funny thing happened…

gelato

The ACTIVEist

Friday found my friend and I biking down to the beach for the first bike of the season which, in itself, should have been a warning sign for trouble and what an adventure it was! It started with the realization that we were biking on enTIREly flat tires for half of the journey… On the plus side, it turns out we’re not quite as out of shape as we had been thinking! But allow me to clarify that when I say flat, my back wheels looked something like a burnt pancake being steamed rolled against the tarmac.

Now loving a challenge and being slightly stubborn at times, I was determined to ride that flattened pancake all the way back up the two gigantic hills to the gas station to pump them up.  I carried nothing except my debit card but luckily knew the gas attendant who graciously offered up 50 cents to my disgruntled appearance and consequently chuckled when I relayed my story to him and a fellow customer. Now whether he was handing me the money out of the kindness of his heart or to get me out of there as quick as possible, is to be determined, but he hadn’t gotten rid of me yet! As we pumped the tires the air nozzle  slipped its way into the depths of the wheel and I was back in to grab a wrench and fish it back out again.

With a wrench in hand and grease stained limbs, my friend and I were bound to go a little (coco)nutty and rehydrated and replenished our electrolytes with some refreshing Thirsty Buddha coconut water 🙂

thirsty buddha

 But it was here at the gas station as we regained our breath and gulped down our waters, that we happened upon the conversation that elicited this week’s challenge. As it turns out, this friend, who happens to live 5 houses down and has a birthday six days apart from mine, was on the same wavelength and ate what I ate this week and was telling me all about how fantastic she felt. She said all of her bloating went away, her digestion was great, her cravings disappeared, she felt light and was running on an abundance of energy! I was thrilled and had personally experienced this as well and had to share with you all! The challenge? To eat nothing but salads for seven days! That’s it, that’s all.

The Seven Days Of Salads Challenge

The contender: YOU

The Challenge: to eat nothing but wholesome salads for 1 week!

The details:

  • Before you classify nacho salads and chocolate (chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree, that makes it a plant; chocolate is salad.) not so fast! The more wholesome, the more benefits you will feel, and that’s the whole point! So commit yourself to the healthiest salads you can possibly construct! Here are some tips:

beet salad

Variety: mix it up!

  • Experiment with different greens and salad mixes. Try lentil salads, add chicken and avocado and try that weird-looking veggie you’ve passed for weeks in the supermarket. Keep it bright and colourful for a full spectrum of nutrients and get playful!

Dress it up

  • Would you like some salad with that dressing? Don’t go heavy-handed on the dressings, keep them light and make your own. Store bought dressings are less than ideal and often contain dairy and soy and sugar galore. My super simple go-tos?
    • Olive oil, sea salt and garlic powder (optional)
    • Apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard and a tiny sprinkle of avocado oil
    • Balsamic? I am asked about this one all the time. My quick answer; when it comes to vinegar I prefer to stick with alkalinizing apple cider but I do use balsamic here and there.

Salad for breakfast?

  • YES! Greens with some strawberries and blueberries make great breakfast salads but green smoothies constitute a salad too. Spinach, cucumber, crisp celery and romaine are all my favourites to add to smoothies to hide the green taste (unless, like myself, you love that taste!) while getting lots of nutrition packed in your blender.

Organic

  • Go organic as much as possible for increased detoxification and the most optimal nutrition! At the very least, purchase the dirty bakers dozen organic or peel your vegetables.

Here is one of my favourite salads (as pictured above) that is already in a post for you: https://lifeofeden.com/2013/10/01/liver-detox-salad/  With grapefruit juice and fresh apple, I love this one for breakfast after allowing it to soak in the fridge overnight and the apple cider vinegar helps to boost digestion for the remainder of the day!

Kick starting our seven days of salads!

Suzanne Eden

May The Fourth Be With You // From Yoda To Yoga – How To Harness The Force Of Our Minds

At first glance, Yoda may seem nothing more than a wise character of science fiction who ate so many salads he became one. But let me assure you, his teachings span far beyond his Jedi’s and can teach all of us Padawan’s a thing or two when it comes to manifesting radiant health.

yoda

Yes, Yoda is a true yogi master.

Allow me to state my claims here:

  • Beyond the amusing images of Yoda in down dog or attempting a back bended wheel pose, what Yoda has is beyond the control of his body, it is the control over his mind. This is yoga beyond the asana’s (postures).
  •  Though not causing objects to levitate, there are yoga gurus in the Himalayas known to have such control over their bodies that they can voluntarily stop their heart beat, change their brain waves between alpha, beta, theta, delta, and heat their bodies so much that they can sit naked in the snowy mountains and dry wet towels placed over their backs. This is a self-control taking years to cultivate but with the mind and a little patience, anything is possible, even holding frog pose for what seems like an eternity.

“Patience you must have young Padawan.”

  • Though we do not see Yoda in Lulu spandex, stretched out on his Jade yoga mat for a practise, we often see him with his eyes closed in contemplation or silence. The mind has a hard time distinguishing between what is real and what is envisioned so long as the visualization is strong. Therefore, if we are too sick or have an injury and cannot practise, there is power in visualizing this practise. There are NASA studies that have shown the same muscles firing from visualizing an action as firing when the action was physically performed! The more detailed the realization, the more you feel as though it is reality, the stronger its effect will be.

 

So there we have it, proof that Yoda is our ultimate yoga master but what, then, is the force?

 

In yoga, our minds are the vehicles of our health. What we feed our minds is equally, if not more important than what we feed our bodies. It is our thinking that is responsible for what manifests both in our bodies and in our lives and continues to be backed up by scientific research. In fact, one of the biggest predictors of longevity is psychological resiliency; the ability to “bounce back” and go with the flow.  It is also our minds that are the main responsibility in changing our daily habits and understanding that we have the ability and mental strength to transform our health. Our minds are the force to be reckoned with so long as we use it for good.

wheel

From our yoga master, Yoda, here are 3 Manifest Monday quotes to harness the power of mental resiliency, may the force be with you!

 

 

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.

  • Stress is often the result of feeling a loss of control and can be responsible for up to 95% of onsets or progressions of disease. When we become attached to something in our lives, there is a fear that it can be taken away from us. Accepting that all things come and go and allowing it to be, gives us the power of resilience. Allow nothing to feel as though it is yours. Instead, cherish its presence, whether it be an object, an animal, a person, or idea, while it is there but release attachment.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

  • The fear of not obtaining a goal is a counterintuitive thought that may prevent us from trying or from sticking to a health regime for the time it takes to work. By finding self love, flaws and all, we release this fear and are able to take set backs on our journey as experiences and step into a new direction. Do or do not. There is no try.

 

When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.

  • Fill your time with things that fulfill you and make you feel happy and alive. raising our vibrations, filling our attention with positives, fueling our day on laughter, these are the things that create a resilient mind. One that can take any situation with a positive mindset. And of course, a heaping dose of yoga helps too 😉

 

May the fourth be with you yogis,

Suzanne Eden