Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chia Fruit Bowl

I have a deep love for Chia, if not possibly even an addiction!   I love Chia jam, Chia bread, Chia in Oatmeal, Chia in green smoothies, Chia pudding and Chia in juice.  I have never had a Chia Pet though.

Unfortunately my Chia Pudding never really turns out like Pudding.  It's either too dense with seeds or too liquidy to be called a pudding.  It's still tasty though and I keep a batch to eat if I have a craving for sweets or to use in my new favorite Chia Fruit Bowl.

On hot summer days in Germany (yes, there are such days!) my Mom spends hours in the kitchen cleaning, cutting, boiling and straining all sorts of red fruits to mix with Pearl Sago and makes Rote Grütze.  It always smelled sweet, took all day to make and hours to set and when we can finally eat it, it is oh so delicious and refreshing!   I have never attempted to make it because I have no idea what "Johannisbeeren" are called in English or where to find them in Las Vegas.  And more importantly, no other Rote Grütze I have ever tried has come close to tasting as good as what my Mom makes.  So it has to be her touch.  You know...made with love ♡

This Chia Fruit Bowl somehow reminds me of that without trying to immitate it, and fail.  It can be eaten cold, but I think it's the heating up of it that makes it extra tasty.  And bonus: it doesn't take all day.

This is super simple to make and you could probably figure it out yourself.  But if you're anything like me, you like to know thr exact steps someone took to make something you want to try yourself.  And then adjust it.

How To Make It
For best results you do need to have that Chia pudding concoction ready in your fridge and here is how I make it.  Use organic whenever possible, or non-gmo-certified.

8 Tb Chia seeds
2 tsp Vanilla (fresh or flavoring)
2 cups (500ml) Almond Milk (I use plain and unsweetened)

Stir it all together in a storage container, stir, stir, stir, and place it in the refrigerator to thicken.  I like to let it sit for at least 4 hours before I eat it or use it for anything else.  Stir it again to break up some of the seeds that stuck together.  Now it's ready.

For the fruit bowl all you need now is, you probably guessed it, fruit.  My current favorites are Blueberries, Strawberries and Apricots. 

2 hand fulls Blueberries
4 Strawberries cut into small pieces
1 Apricot cut into small pieces

Top it with 4 Tablespoons of your Chia Pudding, mix and eat OR even yummier heat it up for a couple of minutes.

I currently savor mine for breakfast, with the Pugs by my side, sitting outside and enjoying the morning.  Simple joys!

Of course you can top it off with more almond milk, add mint leaves, cinnamon, or for a dessert have it hot over some ice cream!

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you and how you changed it to make it yours ♡

:-) Melanie


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

JAVITA Weightloss Coffee & Tea

Change your coffee, change your life!
Learn how to get your coffee and tea FREE.

I have a question for you.  Actually, I have two:
1. Do you drink coffee or tea?
2. Do you want to lose weight?  Or have more energy for your workouts and stop sugar cravings?

If you answered YES to these questions, please check out the JAVITA Coffeehouse and see how replacing just one cup of your current coffee or tea can have a positive effect on your health.

Maybe you don't really need to lose weight: would you like to have more energy for your workout, less cravings, better focus, balanced blood sugar levels, and/or better moods?  Then check out the JAVITA Coffeehouse and click on "Our Products."

The videos on the Coffeehouse page do a much better job than I could ever do of explaining all the benefits of JAVITA.  And they are short!  There are the JAVITA weightloss Burn + Control coffee and tea, as well as the Energy + Mind coffee, a healthier way of getting the energy and focus you might have been seeking from energy drinks.

Is this a quick fix to weightloss?

No!  But you shouldn't be looking for a quick fix, but rather something that you can stick with for the rest of your life.    

Actually, your weight may or may not drop a whole lot, that all depends on what your starting point is.  If you take the time to watch the videos, you will see that Javita Burn + Control is going to assist you with your healthy lifestyle changes and with changing your body composition.  If you have a lot of weight to lose you will see the numbers go down.  If you don't have a whole lot to lose, you will notice a change in the way you feel in your clothes: they fit better and you feel great!

My background is in motivating people to reshape their lives by living an active and healthy lifestyle.  But making the change can be challenging.  That is another blog post for itself.  Some say "Just do it."  And if it is easy for you, I applaud you!  But for many who start a new exercise program, and make the change to eating clean, it is not always easy.  If you can switch to a life of 100% clean food with lots of fruits and vegetables, then you will probably find yourself feeling full, even as you increase your energy output (e.g. through exercise).  But you might still succumb to cravings.

A variety of research abstracts are available by searching PubMed.gov for "Garcinia Cambogia."  If you do, please do not limit yourself to reading just one abstract, and then latching on to the worst outcome statement. Any Scientist will most likely second, that when it comes to research, factors change, outcomes can change, sometimes even under the same circumstances.  Albeit they will sound much more sophisticated than I do. This http://1.usa.gov/1lCmfWe will take you to a research article with good sourcing to lead you to more.  Besides appetite suppression, this particular research also found significant anti-inflammatory effects from Garcinia Cambogia, and other articles supported the claim of balancing glucose levels and possibly lowering cholesterol levels (the bad kind).

My point is this: everyone is different.  Some of us have an easier time changing our eating habits, listening to our brain's "I am full" signals, and resisting the urge to splurge.  But for many it is difficult to make any change. Unless your life absolutely depends on it, how consistent are you about taking vitamins?  Calcium supplements?  I already drink coffee, so replacing my coffee with Javita was easy.

And I actually love the taste of this coffee!  But I am also eager to see the effect it will have on my body composition and cholesterol levels**.  I have already noticed a change in appetite.  I eat my meals and stop when I am full.  Yes, I still have splurge meals, but I actually stop when I am full!  You see, I have always taken a somewhat embarrassing pride in my "healthy appetite" and the amount of food I can eat.  It's probably related to fond memories from my childhood?!

**Update: Within three months I have lowered my cholesterol by 14 points!  Breakdown of HDL and LDL coming soon.

How fast will it work?

Be reasonable!  You should be active for many reasons (consider #nepa).  You can email me if you need help with that.  But to assist you in your lifestyle change, just take a look at the JAVITA Coffeehouse and give it a try.  While you wait for your first shipment of coffee to arrive (at your door step, without having to drive to the store), take some measurements.  By all means, use the scale, but then forget it.  The scale numbers might not change all that much as your body composition changes.  Instead, take some tape measurements around your hips, waist and biggest part of your belly.  And if you like, around your bust, dominant upper arm, and dominant upper thigh.  Then put on a piece of clothing that you can zip up, but have no business going into public with it.  Take a picture.  Close your eyes and feel what it feels like.  Not too long, because you don't want to stretch it out.  After one month of drinking Javita coffee or tea, repeat the measurements and take a note at what has changed.  Then brag about it!

If you have any questions, or if you would like to plan a Taste & Learn event for you and your friends, please email me at melanievbyrne@gmail.com and I would love to share a cup with you!

*********************************************************************************
Here are some not-so-scientific reasons why I first tried this coffee:
1. Garcinia Cambogia comes from the Tamarind plant, which is native to Indonesia.  My Mom's side of the family is from Indonesia and both my Grandma and Mom cooked with Tamarind.

2. GC/Tamarind is used in Ayurvedic Medicine (then again, what plant isn't).  During my beginning years of studying Yoga I took a workshop on Ayurveda.  During it I found out my Dosha and I learned what foods were good and not so good for me.  Based on that I made adjustments to my diet and was able to stop breaking out into full body hives every time I exercised (pretty annoying when you teach Group Fitness classes).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Calendar Updates

To keep you updated on when and where I teach, or who is teaching for me, as well as other community events I hope to see you at, I regularly update my public calendar on the "Schedule & Events" tab of this site.

International Day of Happiness March 20th

International Day of Happiness

March 20th!  Not only does this day mark Spring Equinox, but the United Nations also declared it International Day of Happiness!  To help you appreciate this day and get more than one day of happiness out of your year, En*theos set up this FREE online conference with Masters of Applied Positive Psychology Alumni Association, University of Pennsylvania at http://bit.ly/1mhSInR  It really starts today, but presentations will stream for 24 hours after.  But you can also purchase forever access, that's up to you.  

I hope you will listen in and share what you learn.  We all deserve to find happiness :-)

What is it about?
"When the United Nations announced that March 20 would be the International Day of Happiness, [En*theos'] immediate question, as positive psychology practitioners, was “What can we do to increase the total tonnage of happiness in the world?” 

With over 300 graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, this conference gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the important applications being done around the world by a wide variety of practitioners."


En*theos Academy for Optimal Living

I absolutely love what en*theos provides with their Academy for Optimal Living!  For a seriously small monthly OR annual fee you get access to online streaming interviews, classes, conferences by experts in the field of positive psychology, love, health, wealth, productivity and so much more.  Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1gz3miw

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Yoga Code Virtual Conference

Sure, yoga seems relaxing and can be a great practice for a healthy body, but what if I told you that there's a completely different side of yoga that doesn't even involve a rubber mat or black stretchy pants?
Yoga has inspired people for generations to excel in areas of their lives that go beyond just health and fitness.

Author and creator of The Yoga Code, Jackie Dumaine, has created a 3-day virtual conference that includes 15+ interviews with some of the world's visionary thinkers​ as they open up about the 10 Universal Principles​ of ancient​ yoga wisdom and how you can use them to start creating a life with more Peace, Balance and Joy. ​

The Yoga Code virtual conference is available for streaming FREE online March 17 - 19, 2014! #YogaCode
This wisdom can create immediate transformation in your parenting, relationships, finances, happiness, body image and so much more!

Don't worry about the headstands and spinal twists, let's dive in and reflect on yoga's ancient wisdom to create more happiness and passion in our everyday lives.
See you there! :)
What You Need to Know:
Dates: March 17 - 19, 2014
Price: FREE
Where: Sign up online at entheos
#YogaCode

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do you have a stuffy nose?

A simple solution if you can not breathe through your nose?  Yes!

We are pretty lucky with our weather here in the Las Vegas Valley. However, early Spring means early blooming and, whether it is pollen throughout the year or something else that's making your nose stuffy, nobody likes a mouth breather, food doesn't taste good when you can't breathe through your nose and it certainly makes practicing yoga or exercise less attractive at the end of a work day.  On top of all that, when you can't breathe, you're probably sluggish at work and less productive.  That leads to feeling bad about yourself, which may lead to eating your feelings when you get home....stop, stop!  Like myself, you probably don't want to take meds because they make you feel tired, super hyper or give you some serious dry mouth.

Try this: during one of your breaks take 10 minutes to take a brisk walk around your work's parking lot (leave your phone to charge at your desk, but bring some water) and focus on deep breathing.  Inhale as long and as deeply as you can through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

I could give you more details on how to make this walk meditative and to practice pranayama.  But I want this to stay simple, so you will actually do it.  Have some water during your walk because you probably don't replenish enough at your desk anyway.  Make a pit stop in the bathroom and blow your nose a couple of times.  Chances are you will breathe more freely for a while.

What are some of the ways you clear your breathing passages?  Leave a comment or email me your tips to share in a future post.

Here's to breathing freely and deeply!
:-) Melanie

Monday, January 20, 2014

Building Vinyasa

Vinyasa means "to move with your breath" and with today's lesson plan I am keeping "January newbies" in mind, as well as people who are feeling a bit tight in their hamstrings and IT bands.  The repetition of moving in and out of a pose will help you learn the poses, as well as increase your range of motion.

Hopefully I will have the pleasure of seeing you in class.  But if not, I invite you to practice part or all of this lesson plan.

By the way, search the "Yoga" label and you should find a breakdown of Sun Salutation A.  And here is a direct link.

:-) Melanie