For at least half an hour before bed, try to avoid bright lights. This includes the lights coming from your TV, computer, strong office lights etc. Dim the lights at home or in an office and dim the screen on your PC or Mac at night. Don’t stare on your cell phone, TV or tablet until you have dimed the lights. Even as little as 5 minutes white light from a screen shuts off your melatonin production for hours and can ruin the quality of your sleep. The best is to avoid screens in the evening entirely.
When we are watching violent TV programs or movies it can make it harder for you to relax and go to sleep. Violence stimulates a part of your brain that then starts to look for threats. When you are trying to go to sleep it will be harder to get out of this fight or flight mode. Deep breathing and meditation can help to reduce this effects.
It is better to avoid exercise for 2 hours before you go to bed, unless it is restorative yoga and breathing exercises. Exercise is highly energizing, and the body starts to produce cortisol that will interfere with your sleep.
Avoid drinking caffeine after 2pm or at least 8 hours before bedtime. Some people need more than 8 hours free from caffeine and others may even have to give up caffeine totally to sleep better. Instead drink herbal teas, warm vegetable drinks and broths if you want something warm.
There is a window between about 10.30 to 11pm when you naturally get tired. If you don’t go to sleep at this time, you will get a cortisol driven “second wind” that can keep you awake until 2am. You also get better sleep and rest when you go to sleep before 11pm. You wake up feeling more rested than what you would, if you had gotten the same amount of sleep starting later.
Drink warm water with raw honey and apple cider vinegar
This drink makes you very relaxed. Warm up water, blend in 1 tblsp of raw honey and 2tblsp of raw apple cider vinegar. Mix and drink 20 to 30 minutes before sleep.
Hot Shower or Hot bath
Sometimes a simple bedtime routine can make wonders. To start this routine with a warm shower or bath to wash of the stress and energy of the day and put on comfortable clothing can be just what you need to sleep better.
Foot bath with apple cider vinegar and lavender essential oil
If you rather make a foot bath, you can mix apple cider vinegar and some drops of lavender essential oil and sit for 5-10 minutes while listening to relaxing music, or doing deep breathing.
Calm down and support your sleep with deep breathing
Practicing Pranayama before bed can make you sleep better. Deep breathing puts your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode) to rest and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest mode).
Breath in on an account of 5, then hold for 10 and then breath out for 10 then hold for 5 with breath out. Repeat 5 to 10 times. When you hold your breath, is should be easy. If 10 counts strain your breath then do less counts in, less holding and less breathing out, for example 3, 6, 6….
Then practice Nadi Shuddhi, the nostril breath for 3-4 minutes.
This will calm your breath, heart and mind. Instructions for Nadi Shoddi here www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz1zSrDkREM
Supplement your sleep
Magnesium should be taken before bedtime. Choose the best forms of magnesium that are malate, citrate, aspartate and others ending “-ate”.
Gaba is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, that your brain uses to shut itself down and helps to induce sleep. Use GABA in times of stress and when you have difficulties falling asleep. Gaba also raises the levels of Human growth hormone and have anti aging effects. Take separate from any protein source.
Melatonin is a potent hormone and antioxidant that your body produce itself if you get real darkness and enough sleep. Occasionally you can supplement with melatonin to help your sleep. Works good when you are travelling and sleeping in places that you are not used to sleep. You can also use it occasionally when you need to “power sleep”. For more regular use you can take 400 mcg. (just part of the pill) When you have a jetlag or in another more challenging situation you can use the 1-3mg that you usually find the supplement in.
Vitamin D can affect sleep and create sleep disorders. This is an important supplement since most of us are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D should not be taken at night though, since it is inversely related to the melatonin levels and can disrupt your sleep. Instead take 1000 IU units per 25 pounds body weight. Do know even better how much you should take you can monitor your vitamin D levels with blood tests every 6 months.
It is beneficial to take your omega 3 fatty acid supplement, preferably Krill Oil, before going to sleep. Take 1g with dinner or at bedtime.
Hydrolysed grass-fed collagen peptide, is an easy digestible protein helping with muscle repair during sleep. Take 1-2 tblsp mixed in a warm tea in the evening. You can also mix in the MCT oil in the drink, and give the body the extra fat (energy) to break down the protein during night. Blending the mixture will make it taste better. You can use a tsp of honey or xylitol to sweeten.
Another option is to use grass fed cold pressed whey protein. This kind of protein also raises the glutathione levels. Glutathione helps your liver to remove toxins from the liver, a job that can interfere with sleep.
Example of frothy warm evening drink with protein and fat.
1 cup herbal tea, non-caffeinated tea.
1 tblsp MCT oil or high-quality coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1 tblsp hydrolyzed collagen
1 tsp raw honey or Xylitol to sweeten
½ tsp curcuma (optional)
Blend in a high-speed blender. Enjoy immediately.
Information about supplementation and sleep comes from Dave Aspreys book "The Bulletproof Diet".
A healthy diet and a healthy living are the best scientifically known ways to prevent risk of degenerative disease like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer.
1. Practice home cooking and eat whole, organic and raw foods as often as you can. This is your base. Avoid refined, processed or chemical junk foods. Eat as close to nature as possible.
2. Avoid refined sugar (brown, white, yellow), artificial sweeteners and avoid concentrated fructose like; corn syrup, agave, fructose in powder etc.
3. Drink between 6-10 glasses of clean water per day. Your individualized optimum water intake will vary depending on how many other liquids like fresh vegetable juices, smoothies or raw foods you are eating or drinking.
4. ADD IN FUNCTIONAL FOODS like fermented cabbage, kefir, kombucha and kimchi to support a good immune system and gut flora.
5. ADD IN MORE GREENS. Eat 5 servings per day of dark green leaves and vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, water cress, spinach, peas, chard, wild edibles, green beans.
6. ADD IN MORE SWEET VEGETABLES. To help with sugar cravings try to increase your intake on vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beet root and parsnip.
7. ADD IN GOOD FATS like 1 tbsp of mixed grounded seeds or seed oil per day, 15 drops of Marine Phytoplankton, 1000 mg of fish or krill oil per day. Other fats to add into your diet are avocados, coconut oil, grass fed butter (unless you have any reaction to dairy product), fresh fatty fish, free range eggs.
8. ADD IN SUPERFOODS AND SUPERHERBS like Chlorella, Spirulina, Hempseeds, and Maca to increase your nutritional intake and Medicinal mushrooms, Tulsi, Schizandra, Maca, Ashwaganda and Fo-ti for increased energy, resistance and protection to stress.
9. Eat 2-3 pieces of fruits every day. Supplement with a whole food based multi vitamin and extra vitamin C and D if your levels are low.
10. Eat less or no gluten. Choose gluten free whole grains like rice, millet, oats, quinoa, amaranth and organic corn.
11. Eat less or no highly processed dairy. Choose artisan and raw goats cheese and fermented dairy like sheep yogurt, milk and cheese.
12. Eat 2 servings per day of high quality vegetable protein like beans, lentils, quinoa, fresh tofu, tempeh, sprouts, hemp- rice- or pea protein. Avoid excess of animal protein. If you choose to eat animal protein choose high quality organic or wild. Experiment with what protein that works best for you.
This weekend I went to a workshop on how to utilize essential oils with Dr. Wang. I have been using essential oil for me and my children for years, and I was curious to learn some more tricks about how to use these precious oils to enhance my health and well being, and I did.
Until now I have mainly used lavender, tea tree, peppermint and sweet orange. I use it to enhance my concentration when I work, I massage my feet with it to calm down at night, I mix a few drops in water in a spray bottle to refresh my energy, and I use it to clean and treat cuts and wounds.
Peppermint is also one of my favorites in cooking! Here in the making of Raw Mint Chocolate!!
After the workshop I have also started to implement the following 3 things that I learned, starting with my favorite..."The change and balance the energy exercise".
1.Take one drop of Peppermint essential oil (yin) in the left hand, then add one drop of Lavender (yang). Together these oils will create balance. Now put your palms together and rub 9 times in a circle. Then interlace your fingers and place them behind your head, on your neck. Now focus your mind on he Hara point, about 2 cm bellow your belly button, and breath deeply 9 times. Lastly open your palms and breath in deeply the essential oil fragrance from the palms of your hands, 9 times full breaths. This exercise feels really balancing and refreshing!
2. Instead of using lemon juice in my water in the morning, I now use a couple of drops of Lemon essential oil in the water. This is said to be even more effective since the essential oil, due to that it contain oil, can actually go into the cell and effect its direct environment, which the lemon juice cannot.
When you add lemon juice in your water it will have a bad effect on the amalgam. This will not happen with the essential oil. Lemon essential oil in the water is also good for cell renewal, lymphatic system balancing, colon purification, and weight loss.
Another great bonus is that lemon essential oil contains 68% d-limonene. This is not found in lemon juice, just the essential oil. D-limonene is a great antioxidant! It has also been shown to cleanse harmful chemicals from the liver. Lemon essential oil may also help to support your energy level and mental clarity so try adding a drop to your bottle of water before you go to the gym.
3. To help regular detoxification we can also use the blend Zendocrine from doTerra. This blend helps to support the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. Add 1 drop to a glass of water and drink to help your body to cleanse and detoxify in a gentle way.
I use many different essential oils, and specifically love when they come from nearby, Portugal. Lavender, Lemon, Thyme and Rosemary are easy to find from organic small producers. For other oils from herbs that dont grow here and oil blends, I love the oils from doTerra.
When I was a young woman I knew little about how to take good care of my Yoni. Neither had I encountered this beautiful, poetic naming of the feminine sexual organ.
The Yoni represents the female genitalia in Sanskrit and it is a sign of generative power and symbolizes the goddess Shakti.
With time and some studies in feminine medicine, I have become more aware of how I can take care of my self in a natural and effective way, and I would like to share some of
this information with you today.
Yoni wash and bath
When we regularly wash and treat the Yoni with herbal infusions we help the body to keep the desired ph-levels and we prevent infections and irritations.
It is also important to eat food that are alkaline and to avoid to eat sugar and processed food if we experience any discomfort. Sugar and processed foods like bread, pasta, pastry and candy will feed fungus and bacteria.
To wash the Yoni on a regular basis you can use water and apple cider vinegar. The best vinegar to use is unpasteurized. Use 1 table spoon for 1 Liter of water.
You can also use a vaginal shower that you can find in an enema kit at the pharmacy.
It is beneficial for the health of the Yoni, and for our well-being to make regular Yoni baths. You can do them at the end of you period, each week or when you feel the need. It is an intimate moment of relaxation and connection with yourself and your body.
1. First you prepare the herbal infusion. Boil 2 liters of water and add 2 handfuls of dried herbs like Lavender, Calendula, Basil, Malva. When you have problems with Candida it is beneficial to use Chamomill as a treatment. Dont use Chamomill if you don't have candida.
2. It is recommended to do one per week when you have any discomfort. If you don't have any discomfort but want to keep the yoni healthy, you can do it just before or after your period.
3. Pour the herbal infusion in a large plastic or ceramic bowl, big enough for you to sit in it. Add cold water until you have a comfortable warm temperature.
Sit down in the infusion and make sure the rest of your body is warm. Use this moment for meditation and relaxation.
Yoni wash after making love
Traditional ways for women to “detach” from the energies that are shared when making love would be to first make a pee, then bath the vagina in cold water and herbal infusions and then lastly smoke them selves and the Yoni with cleansing herbs. This was also to avoid any infections after making love.
This may seam like a long procedure, so a recommended shorter one would be to first make a pee, then wash the vagina with a mix of apple cider vinegar, water and salt with a vaginal shower.
For one Yoni wash you use 1 table spoon of salt and one spoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 Liter of water.
If you are interested in knowing more about feminine medicine and feminine consciousness I highly recommend the courses by CMWI, Contemporary Medicine Women Institute, created and lead by beautiful Iris Lican and Lila Nuit.
Isn’t it a lovely time when you can feel spring in the air. Good vibes, feelings of expansion and wonderful things coming our way.
This is what inspired me to start to eat more Raw Food this week.
During winter, I have naturally felt more drawn to warm and heavier food. But when the sun comes out to shine its light, and the green vegetation and herbs are bursting to life, then fresh cleansing food are calling me!
Some years ago, I was eating 90% Raw food all the time, even through winter. But this experience showed me that it was not for me. I was cold all winter and I felt like something was always missing, which lead me to eat all the time.
When I got brittle teeth, I knew I had to change some things in my diet. For some reason the fantastic Raw Food diet did not work for me.
I have now learned why I was in this state and I have changed my diet to be more flexible and the symptoms has passed.
It is important to not be dogmatic in your food choices and to keep an open mind. I certainly cherish the wish to eat as clean and nutritious food as possible (raw food is great for this), but it must be done with awareness.
If your body shows any prolonged signs that you are not as healthy as you thought you would be on a certain diet, then be open to experiment with other options. After all there are so many nutritious and medicinal foods out there and we don’t need to restrict ourselves into just following one theory. And in the end this is all they are, Theories. What really counts is what your body is telling you and what works for You!
This is also my approach when I work with clients. I guide them into trying different options until they find out what works for them.
(Read more about my approach to health coaching here http://www.indiranutrition.com/programs.html)
5 Spring inspired tips
This week it has been rainy and cold here in Sintra, and I needed some extra boost to move me through the day. So I made a couple of really delicious Bulletproof coffees.
Bullet proof coffee is traditionally made with the best quality coffee you can get your hands on and grass fed butter. I don´t use nor recommend dairy products in general, so I use a good virgin coconut oil instead.
Adding fat to hot drinks is a longstanding tradition in many parts of the world. Mixing spices into coffee is also quite common. I love to add cinnamon and cardamom, it really brings out the flavor of your coffee. To make this brew even more interesting,
I add medicinal mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga! These mushrooms help you to boost the immune system and increase mental clarity.
Bullet proof coffee is easy to prepare and you can convert it to energy quickly, speeding up your metabolism and giving you a cognitive boost.
Bullet proof coffee is also said to keep hunger at bay, enhance mental clarity and stimulate the body’s fat-burning potential.
Sounds pretty good for a cup of coffee, don't you think? I know I prefer to drink my coffee in this way, knowing that it is giving me some nutrition and making me less hyper from the caffeine. I am sensitive to caffeine so I like to use a decaffeinated coffee or a mix of the both. The brand on the picture is a good choice for this.
To make it you will need to get:
Then you brew 1 cup of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons organic high quality coffee. Using a French Press is easiest. If you grind your coffee from beans...even better! The idea here is to use a coffee that is free of chemicals and that has a high level of antioxidants intact.
3 cubes of frozen pumpkin
2 hands full of swiss chard (acelgas)
1/4 of a peeled lemon
1 tbsp vegetable protein powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder with black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric w. black pepper
1 tsp ginger powder
2 cups of water
(Find protein powders and medicinal herbs and spices at www.biosamara.pt)
Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
Enjoy directly or store in the fridge in an airtight glass jar until later.
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I'm feeling happy! This is the first blog post I'm writing for Indira Nutrition. It took a while to get to this point, but once I realized that Perfect was not the way, then things started to move and now the new blog is a reality!
On this blog I will share my ideas and insights about Health and Wellness with you, and I will share what I think Healthy Living is about.
In the spirit of new beginnings and a new year, I want to share my new favorite healthy beverage with you, Bone Broth.
In the spirit of new beginnings and a new year, I want to share my new favorite healthy beverage with you, Bone Broth.
After being a vegetarian for many years, then vegan and then an 80% Raw Foodist, I decided to introduce some animal protein and to try bone broth because of its medicinal properties.
It took me some time to mentally prepare and take the step to go and get meat and bones for my broth, but I'm glad I did. The first time I made it, I realized it was easier to make than I thought, and I felt that it was really nourishing and healing for my body.
The main reason I introduced this functional food into my diet, is because it is healing for the gut - something that has been an issue for me for some time.
I also love the fact that you make it one day a week and then you have ready made food to use for days ahead. Warming up a cup in the morning instead of tea or coffee is great, and I like to top it up with some superfoods like Spirulina.
Yesterday I used it to make a lunch that was really simple and so good! I grated carrots, white cabbage and beetroot and a hint of fresh ginger in a bowl, then added warm broth on top and finished with some fresh herbs and hemp seeds sprinkled on top.
That's my kind of fast food!
I have also used the broth to do fasting. Christmas holidays often leaves us feeling a little heavy and intoxicated and a couple days of fasting can be a great way to reset our energy and health. I personally took one day of broth and water fast and continued with 2 days of broth, teas and fruit.
The changes are immediate, and both mood and skin are much better in just a few days!
If you are up for the challenge, here is the recipe. I hope you will like it!
1 whole free range chicken
5 cups of water
1/2 root celery head or a bunch of celery stalks
1 chopped carrot
2 chopped onions
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
2 tsp Kelp or other algae
Fresh herbs of your choice
1. Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 hours.
2. Strain the vegetables, herbs and chicken from the broth. You can use the chicken meat for chicken soup or alike and you can eat the veggies.
3. Cool down the broth and store in the fridge.
For beef broth recipe visit www.indiranutrition.weebly.com