OIL PULLING

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Oil pulling… How does it sound to you?

To be honest, the first time I heard about that, I was quite disgusted by the technique… Yep.. you heard me right!

But, then, I convinced myself to try it out as I have sensitive gums and one of my yoga teachers advised me to try oil pulling with sesame oil to soothe them. Sesame oil is indeed often used in Ayurveda to reduce the Vata Dosha that can lead to having a dry mouth and also a dry skin (I love massages with sesame oil: It also has a warming and calming effect on the whrilwind of the mind).

So how to now?

1- Choose a good quality oil (sesame, virgin coconut oil for its antibacterial properties or sunflower oil – I often pick the sunflower oil because of its neutral taste).

2- When you wake up, start your day by rinsing your mouth with a tablespoon of oil for about 20 to 30 minutes (that is.. if you are patient and if you are not late for work of course!).

3- After those 20 minutes washing your mouth with the oil, spit it in your toilets (not in the sink to prevent obstruction from happening!).

4- Rinse your mouth with warm luke water and finally scrap your tongue.

Oil-pulling addicts will say that it gives you an amazing holistic body detox. They will claim that it clears the skin, relieve you from headaches, etc.
But, to be honest, I haven’t noticed these benefits so far (after 1 year and a half of oil-pulling).
The only thing I can tell you is that:
– I have the impression to have clean teeth and gums afterwards.
– I feel fresh this is why I’m keen on doing it first thing in the morning!
– And my gums have been hurting less since I started oil-pulling.
But, hey! Never forget that everybody is different.
We all react in various ways.
So just give it try and let me know how you feel after 1 or 2 months (don’t try only for one day, ok?).

HOW TO SURVIVE WINTER?

Remedies

Hello pumpkins! How are you dealing with the cold weather so far?

Around me, I can see (and hear) a lot of people getting sick. And as I don’t want to catch a cold, I work on strengthening my immune system to keep the mean viruses at bay!

Below are my tricks to transform my immune system into Super(healthy)woman… Try them and let me know if you feel rejuvenated.

1- First and foremost, I do my best to stay hydrated (drink baby drink!). To keep things interesting, I mix between herbal teas, cold-pressed juices (eg: green or pink) or thai soups.

2- Then, I’ll get my fill of vitamin C munching on tangerines, grapefruits, kiwis or red bell peppers! My body will stay alert. No virus will be able to weaken it then!

3- I often overindulge in leafy greens in winter as they are rich in fibers, minerals and vitamins… to keep everything going.  I love them in cold-pressed juices (I also love the Nubio brand in Paris), in smoothies and in salads!

4- When I really feel under the weather, I will take some good-quality zinc supplements (with my doctor’s approval of course! :p ). Otherwise, let’s enjoy some pumpkin seeds: yes dear! they are naturally rich in zinc. I enjoy them as my salad  or soup toppings. Yummy yum!

5- Ok… now.. something less glamorous: I will fill my plates with antibacterial garlic (not on a romantic dinner of course.. otherwise you take the risk of watching your date running away as soon as you open your mouth!) and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

6- To purify and clean my mouth and throat, I love the Ballot Flurin Propolis spray. In winter, it’s my best friend!

7- I also often do a cure of Echinacea drink to help my poor immune system fight against all the evil germs!

8- And, of course, I strive to keep practising yoga so that my body remain fit and my mind stay sound and happy! To me, Yoga is necessary to get health on track!

MORNING RITUALS

Morning rituals

A morning well spent brings a day of content, right?

I love having a healthy routine in the morning, so that I can boost my energy level and I’m sure I will be efficient and calm during the day… (otherwise, when I wake up late -like 5 minutes before the actual beginning of my work day- I’m cranky and ill-tempered… all day long… yeah… I can be that bad!)

Anyway… here are some of my tips to start the day on the right foot:

– Ok… well.. first, I try to actually wake up… and then I stretch as if I were a cat and I yawn as if I were a dog!

– Then: Oil pulling. Wait? What?! Yes, I rinse my mouth with coconut oil or sesame oil or sunflower oil every morning for 15 to 20 minutes. I do it on an empty stomach. The purpose is to cleanse my teeth, my gums and well… to get rid ot the bacteria in my mouth…After the 20 minutes, I spit the oil in the toilet (and oh dear Lord! not the sink!!! otherwise the oil could clog it up) and then brush my tongue with a tongue scraper and I brush my teeth.

– As I cannot speak for 20 minutes and cannot eat… I have to find something else to do: I would do some sun salutations, handstands or I would focus on an intention for the day and on positive thoughts (looking forward to my Mysore practise for instance…)

– After the oil-pulling and handstands ceremony, Idrink a big glass of warm water with a dash of lemon juice, some ginger and cinnamon. And then, an herbal tea (stinging nettle and fennel for instance)

– As I usually wake up at 5:45am, I have time to go to my Ashtanga Yoga Studio for a 2 hour-long Mysore practise at 7am. If I wake up too late: I will go for a run for 45 minutes.

– As I never eat before the Mysore practise, I bring some fruits or nuts to snack on at work afterwards. And I always take a green shot with me (basically = filtered water + wheatgrass powder + spirulina).

– Otherwirse, during week-ends or when I wake up later: I’ll take a green or pink juice and a smoothie made with greens, berries, banana or persimmon and other yummy superfoods (such as this one or this one)!

And of course… I never forget to smile!!!! A key ingredient to a good day!

So cheer up pumpkins and enjoy every single day of your beautiful life!!

SKIN CARE IN A GLASS

Green juice

When I have time (often: during the weekends) or when I feel tired, I start my mornings with nutrient-rich juices.

I have two favorite and beautifying combos: My green monster juice and the pink lady one.

 

For the Green Monster, juice 1 organic cucumber with the skin, 1 organic fennel, 1 huge handful of fresh organic mint, 1 big handful of organic baby spinach, 1/2 lemon and 1 organic green apple with the skin.

 

Pink juice

For the Pink Lady, juice 2 raw beets, 1 fennel, 1 finger of fresh ginger and 1 grapefruit… Pour in a glass and enjoy! Sweet and tasty!

 

As always pumpkins, try to use organic products as often as possible…

 

Health Benefits:

– Mint is not only rich in chlorophyll but is also often used to soothe an upset stomach.

Cucumber and fennel are hydrating, nutrient dense and low calorie veggies. Should I say more? Still not convinced to eat or drink your greens? Ok then. A green diet is said to help boost your immune system and keep your body running thanks to the enzymes. As they are also really rich in vitamins and minerals, they will nourish exhausted and stressed bodies. And greens are alkalizing foods: they will help balance your PH. And of course green veggies are beautifying food: the vitamins inside should help your skin clear out and glow!

Lemon is said to help alkalize the body and help flush out the toxins.

Ginger has stomach-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. It should help with digestion.

– Beets are high in antioxidants (which help protect against free radical damage) and can support with detoxification. They are a good source of manganese (which can protect against free radical damage) and folate (or vitamin B9, which helps with tissue growth and cell function). They may also help your hair and skin look younger and healthier.

– Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which will boost your immune system and… should help enhance collagen production (= happy skin!!)

 

 

Tips:

Do not wait too long before drinking your juice. Try and consume it as soon as you strained it. Otherwise the live enzymes and the vitamins will deteriorate once exposed to air. You will then lose a lot of the nutritional benefits of the juice…

For the lucky ones out there who have a slow masticating juicer, you can store your juice for up to 24 hours  in a refrigerated container.

It’s up to 72 hours for the juices made with a press juicer!!

 

 

Simple life

Root vegetables

Why complicate food when delicious can be so simple?

I often indulge in easy, clean yet toothsome foods rather than processed products with a load of added flavors.

Those processed items called food make me sick. Honestly guys! Not kidding!

Look at this colorful plate of steamed sweet potato, turnip, carrot and lightly steamed broccolis! How beautiful is that?

I added a little bit of dressing made of non-pasteurized miso, garlic, ginger and hazelnut butter.

Easy and healthy.

Why complicate things?

Tips to get winter ready

Tea

Hey lovelies! I hope you’re well during the holiday season! For this article, I was inspired by the article I wrote for the blog of the French yogawear brand YUJ: here is the article in French.

 

Christmas is here! Chocolates, gingerbreads, champagne and cookies are everywhere. December is so tempting! And this is also often why we feel so heavy and uncomfortable by the beginning of January.

This year, let’s say no to hangovers and regrets and welcome the holiday season the healthy way instead! Let’s indulge in beautiful and wise treats so that we stay well and happy throughout the celebrations! Let’s get our body winter ready…

Winter time is the Vata season according to ayurvedic principles: cold, dried and windy. The cold weather dries out our skin as dries out the land. To balance this feeling, it’s interesting to favour warming, hydrating and nourishing dishes such as good fats, nutrient-dense and comforting food. Hep hep hep! No I’m not saying you should be eating all the chocolates or all the creamy cakes! Nop! It’s not what I’m talking about! I’m suggesting eating more nourishing but healthy foods such as bananas, avocado, nuts, good fats (my favorite = cold-pressed virgin coconut oil), squash and root vegetables that will keep us grounded. (sorry about the croissants and cappucino by the way…)

In Ayurveda, it’s suggested to favour sweet, salty or sour flavors to pacify the aftermath of a tough season. So let’s eat delicious and warm dishes such as soups or steamed veggies and good fats to soothe the Vata dosha.

The salt will warm and mineralize an exhausted body (try to choose a good natural sea salt or the pink Himalayan salt or seaweed). My favorite “sea-inspired” reicpe is the seaweed pesto made of  virgin olive oil, a mix of seaweeds, garlic, capers, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Perfect combo since you have your good fats, iodin and some garlic to fight against a bad cold.

Sweet tastes that you can find in root veggies -such as sweet potato or turnip- will nourish and ground a stressed body.

Sour food -such as capers, apple cider vinegar, citrus fruits- will stimulate the digestive fire.

During this season, I also love to spice my food with cardamon, anti-inflammatory turmeric, cinnamon, ginger or cloves.

 

Here are some recipes:

For a spicy and comforting breakfast, let’s combine a cup of oats, a cup of almond milk, a table spoon of coconut milk, 2 spoons of warm water, a handful of raisins, a dried fig, some spices (cardamon, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg), some pecan nuts or hazelnuts and a teaspoon of good honey or maple sirup if you feel like it.

For a sweet and grounding dinner: The cauliflower soup with vanilla and coconut milk. In a pan, let’s stir the cauliflower and an onion with some coconut oil. Add 200 ml of coconut milk, a little bit of water and let it cook for about 10 minutes. At the end, you can sprinkle some vanilla, salt and pepper on top. Yummy and creamy!

For a delicious chai-inspired tea: Boil a rooibos tea with cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, chili, cloves, vanilla, stevia with a coconut-rice milk. über-toothsome!

 

 

For an extra cocooning feeling, don’t forget to massage body and feet with sesam oil; nourish your lips with shea butter and protect your face from the wind with some jojoba oil.

ADRENAL NUTELLA (healthy, yummy, vegan and refined-sugar free)

Nutella

 

 

Who does not dream of a healthy and superfood-rich nutella?

Come on! Don’t lie! I know you do love chocolate!!
Anyway.. I do… but not any kind of chocolate… I’m crazy about raw cacao and all the yummy treats you can do out of it!

Below, you’ll find the recipe for a supernutella made with raw hazelnut butter, raw cacao, coconut sugar, stevia, spices and superfoods.

Easy-peasy recipe:

Throw together in a bowl 3 table spoons of hazelnut butter, 1 table spoon of raw cacao powder, coconut sugar (according to your taste) and stevia-infused water.

And then, it’s high time you added the spices and superfoods: Vanilla, turmeric, a dash of black pepper (to intensify the turmeric’s effeciency), cinnamon, vanilla, maca and ashwaganda -all of which will prevent you from being stressed!

Toothsome and decadent!
Enjoy!

GENTLE AND EASY AYURVEDA-INSPIRED FALL CLEANSE

Detox

Hey psss! Did you read the article I wrote for YUJ’s French blog?

It’s about getting our body ready for the transition from summer to fall. I was inspired by some ayurvedic routines and tried to build a gentle and easy routine to follow, in order to cleanse the body before entering the new season. For those of you who want to practise their French, please, go ahead, and have a look at the post. For the others, you will find the translation of the article below.

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Cold weather is approaching! How to get ready for the change of season?

Dear Yoginis, we know you dread the coming fall, the coming cold and the coming rain! We do too at YUJ!

But come on! We should not feel dejected since fall can also be a “warm” season with the nice twilight, the pumpkins’ warm colors, the cosy sweaters and the steaming herbal teas…

Fall can be a likable time of the year! All the more so as YUJ is launching a new series called “Fall in The City”. You will read 4 episodes in which you will find tips to reenergize the body despite the greyness and the cold.

In this first post, we will share some Ayurveda-inspired tips to get our body prepared for the coming gloomy weather… in a gentle way!

According to the Ayurvedic medicine, external factors -such as climate and seasons- affect our internal balance and our wellness. During these changes of season, it is very important to listen to our body, to cocoon and to be nice to ourselves.

Here is a fall routine we can follow to feel good and grounded:

–      First and foremost, we should use a tongue scraper after waking up to get rid of those bacteria that built up during the night.

–      Then, on an empty stomach, we can drink a big glass of warm filtered water to rekindle our digestive fire… and help eliminate the toxins.

–      For breakfast, we should try to eat some sweet fruits instead of the ones that are too tart.

–      Throughout the day, we eat some light spices such as ginger, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and coriander. We can consume these spices in an herbal tea, on our morning fruits or on our evening soups. That’s to say, we can use them with and on everything!

PS: Our favorite easy-peasy combo is grated apple + grated pear + cinnamon +  ginger + cardamon.

–      We do not forget to drink, as always! Herbal teas, filtered water -our best friend for a life full of vitality-  or cold-pressed and organic fruit&veggie juices. Your call!

–      With the coming cold, we try and curb our consumption of frozen products and drinks as they slow the digestion process (especially during cold seasons).

–     At night, before curling up in the bed, we can massage our feet and body with sesame oil. In Ayurveda, sesame oil is said to help get rid of the toxins caused by stress, anger, alcohol and pollution.

–     And finally, for those of you who are keen on detox and cleanses, Ayurvedic medicine recommend to clean our body thanks to a 3-to-5-day “fast” (during which we could consume nothing but liquid and nutritious products). Or we could also decide to set one day of detox per week during the whole season. And you know our favorite Detox brand: Nubio. We love their “Intense Cure” which consists of green juices rich in chlorophyll. This cure always does miracles for the complexion!

NAMASTE #yujgirls!

RECIPE: RAW CHOCOLATES

 

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Last weekend I made wonders in my kitchen! I created some scrumptious and healthy sweets made with superfoods such as raw cacao and klamath blue algae! They were oh so yummy! Trust me! You have to try them!

Pure (healthy) decadence! No guilt!

 

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For those little delicious things, you will need:

– 4 tablespoons of raw cacao butter (I used Sol Semilla butter)

– 1 tablespoon of Sol Semilla raw cacao powder (Sol Semilla raw cacao is one of the best I’ve tasted so far!)

– 1 teaspoon of Sol Semilla klamath blue algae

– 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar

– 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

– Orange zest + essential oil

– Cinnamon and cardamon powder

 

As we are using raw products (except for the coconut sugar), we have to be really careful not to heat them too much, so that we don’t lose the nutrients.

To melt the “chocolate”, use a double boiler and melt the raw cacao butter and the coconut oil on a low heat.

When they are melted, turn off the heat and add the orange essential oil (essential oils do not like too warm a temperature!) and the powders (raw cacao powder, klamath, coconut sugar, orange zest and spices).

Then, you can pour your mouthwatering mixture into ice trays and place them in the freezer so that you can have chocolate-to-go!

Enjoy!

 

Health Benefits:

Raw cacao is said to protect the nervous system as it is high in resveratrol (a potent antioxidant), to help repair damages caused by free radicals (again thanks to those powerful antioxidants!), to reduce blood pressure and to energize your mood. Raw cacao is also a great source of minerals like magnesium (again: Good for the brain!), potassium, iron and zinc.

Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae is harvested in the pure waters of the Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon, USA. It is rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron. It contains a whole bunch of vitamins (A, B, C, E), easy-to-digest amino acids, active enzyms, essential fatty acids and chlorophyll! You got it: This treasured algae is a great superfood that may help us repair our body cells; correct overacidity in our body; boost our concentration and memory skills.

Cardamon is a spice used in ayurvedic medicine to prevent bloating and to soothe other digestive issues.

Cinnamon can help to curve hunger and balance blood sugar levels.

 

 

 

 

Tips For A Good Night Sleep

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When I was anxious or worried, I used to take 2 to 3 hours before being able to sleep! And then it would become a vicious circle: Less sleep, more exhaustion, more worries, less sleep, etc.

But…

During my yoga teacher training, I learned some “life changing” tricks to fall asleep in a softer and natural way… I tried them several times… and it worked!!! (despite all the fuzzy noise of thoughts that were passing through my mind!).

Here are the tips:

1- IF YOU CAN, avoid using a computer or a phone just before going to bed (ok… that one is the most difficult one… Confession: I can never manage to do it since I need my computer for my work and studies.. that I can only perform late at night).

2- IF YOU WANT, you can set a cosy routine. Eg: Drinking a warm herbal tea before lying down in your bed.

3- TRY to sleep in a dark room since the melatonin hormone (that helps regulate sleep) is allowed in darkness (but inhibited by light).

4- Now… the tricks that really worked for me: First, check that the LEFT NOSTRIL is the active one before going to bed (you can check it by putting your hand in front of your nose and see through which nostril you are exhaling).

If the right nostril is the one working… you have to open the left one.

To do so: Place a soft tissue under the right armpit. Inhale through the right nostril (at the same time block the left one with your right pinky). Exhale through the left one (at the same time, block the right one with your right thumb). (This is one breathing technique that we learned in the Pranayama class… And it really worked for me! Such a simple way to unblock a nostril!!).

5- Then, fall asleep on your RIGHT side. Not the left one.

I hope it can help some of you!

Sleep tight!

PS: Tell me if that worked!