Healthy Habits for Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Happy New Year!

PaleoSpirit.com

2014 is already upon us, and all I can say is…WHAT happened to 2013? Wow, that went fast! Is it just me, or does time really seem to go by faster when you get older? I remember as a child that the lead-up to Christmas Day and all the excitement and anticipation seemed like an eternity, but now it goes by in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden, “Poof!” It’s a new year!

Of course, what would a New Year be without a resolution? If you’re like me, you probably view the New Year’s resolution with equal parts conviction (because this year, you’re REALLY going to do it!) and dread (because you know how hard it can be to live up to as time goes by). But take heart, because you CAN do it. You can take control of your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Is it going to be easy? Probably not…but then, what worthy goal is ever easy to achieve?

There is so much focus on diet and exercise at the beginning of a new year. Not as much attention is paid to the emotional and spiritual well-being. But there are habits we can cultivate that will help us become more well-rounded individuals, healthy in mind, body, soul and spirit. Today I am sharing the Ten Habits for a Well-Rounded Person (referenced in the Healthy, Happy, and Free post) and which I’ll summarize below:

10 Healthy Habits for Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit Continue reading

HUGE Paleo and Wellness eBook Bundle Sale!

Harvest_Your_Health_Bundle_Sale_843X403

THIS SALE IS NOW OVER

Today I am pleased to bring you an absolutely astounding sale of 71 ebooks, meal plans, discounts and more for a price that seems too good to be true.

What is the Harvest Your Health Bundle Sale?

  • 71 ebooks with a total value of over $1,000
  • On sale for 7 days – October 7 to October 14
  • Sale price of only $37 – 97% off the total value!
  • If you were to buy each one of these eBooks individually, it would cost over $1,000.

My personal favorites are:

  • Paleo Everyday ($8.99) by Heather
  • 30 Day Intro to Paleo ($20) by Bill & Hayley Staley
  • Toadally Primal Smoothies ($9.99) by Todd Dosenberry
  • The Grain Free Lunchbox ($9.95) by Jolene Sloam
  • Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat ($14.95) by Melissa Joulwan
  • Broth: Elixir of Life ($12.97) by Patricia Lacoss – Arnold
  • 3 months of Paleo Meal Plans ($29.97) by Deliciously Organic
  • Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness $20 (1 month for 1 penny) by Sarah & John Fragoso and Jason Seib
  • 30% off Kasandrinos olive oil

These are my own favorites but there is much, much more.

Click here for the full list of what you get for only $37!

Some more examples…

Cooking/Preparing Paleo Food

Paleo-Everyday

  • Paleo Everyday ($8.99) by Heather
  • Paleogasm ($30) by Camille Macres
  • Paleo Snack Recipes ($17) by Suz Crawt
  • Paleo Chocolate ($4.99) by Ben Hirshberg
  • Paleo Ice Cream ($5.99) by Ben Hirshberg
  • The Grain Free Lunchbox ($9.95) by Jolene Sloam
  • 30 Day Intro to Paleo ($20) by Bill & Hayley Staley
  • Baking with Coconut Flour ($18.95) by Starlene Stewart
  • Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat ($14.95) by Melissa JoulwanWell-Fed-Paleo-Recipes-For-People-Who-Love-To-Eat
  • FastPaleo Top 100 of 2012 with bonuses ($14.97) by James Gregory and Ute Mitchell
  • Primal Tightwad: Maximizing Your Health On a Minimal Budget ($14.95) by Carolyn Rush
  • The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo: Shopping, Kitchens, Lunches ($10) by Alison Golden

Cooking/Preparing Real Food

  • Crazy for Kale ($5.99) by Hallie Klecker
  • Restocking the Pantry ($10) by Kresha Faber
  • Just Making Ice Cream ($12) by Marillyn Beard
  • Broth: Elixir of Life ($12.97) by Patricia Lacoss – Arnold
  • Back to School Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes ($4.99) by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
  • The Veggie Book: How to Pick, Prepare and Plate ($9.95) by Danielle Tate, Debra Worth, Sara Shay and Kayla Grey

Meal Plans

  • 3 months of Paleo Meal Plans ($29.97) by Deliciously Organicsimple-meal-planning-150x150
  • 4 months of Plan to Eat Meal Planner ($19.80) by the Plan to Eat team
  • 2 months of PrimalPal Membership ($9.99) by Chad and Chris (with several contributors)

Personal/Home Care (Skin, Hair, Teeth, Cleaning)

  • Clear for Life ($27) by Seppo Puusa
  • My Buttered Life: Gift Edition ($5) by Renee Harris
  • Natural Cleaning ($15) by Katie – The Wellness Mama
  • Natural-Cleaning-GuideUltimate Secrets to Acne Freedom ($29) by Tracy Raftl
  • The Holistic Mama’s Guide to Homemade Skincare ($19) by Roxanne King
  • Tips and Tricks to Remineralize and Repair Your Teeth ($12.95) by Ramiel Nagel

Fertility, Pregnancy, Babies, Children, Motherhood

  • First Bites ($9.99) by Hilary Kimes Bernstein
  • Birth Control Unlocked ($14) by Stefani Ruper
  • Fertilise Yourself ($19.95) by NatalieKringoudis
  • Fertility Yoga Program ($9.99) by Hethir Rodriguez
  • Eat Your Way to Parenthood ($35) by Gabriela Rosa
  • Mother’s Little Herbal Helper and Home Remedies ($12.50) by Natalie Vickery
  • Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus videos! ($30) by Wardee Harmon & Jami Delgado

Inspiration

  • The Paleo Miracle ($19.99) by Joe SalamaHomemade-Health-Beauty
  • A Practical Guide to Children’s Health ($17.95) by Kate Tietje
  • Primal Deliverance ($14.97) by James Gregory
  • Building Incredible Willpower by Dean Dwyer ($25) by Dean Dwyer

Fitness

  • Bodyweight Overload ($19.99) by Todd
  • Run with No Pain ($17) by Ben Greenfield
  • Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness $20 (1 month for 1 penny) by Sarah & John Fragoso and Jason Seib

Intentional/Simple Living

  • 25 Intentional Days ($25) by Andrew Miller21-Life-Lessons-from-Livin-La-Vida-Low-Carb
  • Change Your Body, Change the World ($9.99) by Frank Forencich
  • 21 Life Lessons from Livin’ La Vida Low Carb ($15) by Jimmy Moore

Detoxify

  • 21 Day Paleo Cleanse ($25) by Neely Quinn
  • Detoxification: 70 Ways to Cleanse, Clear & Purify Your Body, Space & Life ($9.99) by Linda Zurich

Online Magazine Subscriptions

  • Paleo Living Magazine (3 months – 7 issues) by Jeremy Hendon
  • Healthy Recipes Magazine 3 Month Trial (7 issues) by Jeremy Hendon

Discounts

  • 25% off Squatty Potty
  • 20% off Primal Pit Paste
  • 20% off Tisano Chocolate
  • 30% off Kasandrinos olive oil
  • 15% off Nikki’s Coconut Butter
  • 50% off PrimalPal for 6 or 12 months
  • $65 off PaleoFit/PaleoPlan for 12 months
  • 20% off Wild Mountain Paleo Store – Seafood isle
  • 15% off Redmong Trading (real salt, earthpaste, etc)
  • $30 off a $100+ purchase from PrimalBlueprint.com
  • Check here for more discounts

Yes, this is THAT huge.

Just two of these books alone could be worth the $37 asking price. But from now until October 14th at 11:59pm EST, you’ll get all these books, meal plans and discounts for that ridiculously low price.

And, they’ll be auto-magically delivered to you instantly. All you have to do is pay, then download the books to your hard drive.

Order Now for Just $37!

It’s called the Harvest Your Health Bundle Sale, and it’s only available for this week!

Important notes

  • The sale ends on Monday, October 14 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Click on the links to the ebooks to learn more about them.
  • Due to the unique nature of this sale, no refunds will be offered. With the bundle containing 71 ebooks at a cost of 97% of their normal price point, everyone is bound to find immense value well worth $37.
  • This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them you’ll be taken to a website where you can purchase the Harvest Your Health E-Book bundle. I’ll make a commission for each purchase. Thanks in advance for your support!

Paleo Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

Weekends around here are super busy now that Lacrosse season is upon us. Tennis is the sport I always envisioned my boys playing. They’ve had some lessons and seem to enjoy it and I will admit to having spent time imagining them as high school tennis stars. I reasoned that tennis is sensible because it not only works for school sports but it’s something that can be played well into adulthood. But while my boys may opt to continue tennis lessons at some point, Lacrosse has now come into the picture and my husband G couldn’t be happier. G grew up in Baltimore where Lacrosse is a major sport (unlike my home in Texas where Football reigns supreme). He started playing Lacrosse when he was a very young boy, played Lacrosse for The University of Massachusetts and went on to become a Lacrosse coach at a boys school in Manchester, England for a year. So, you see, our sons will play Lacrosse, it is fated to be. 

I just wish Benjamin would remember to tie his shoes!

Ben running at Lacrosse

Both brothers seem to be taking a liking to the game. Tennis anyone?…anyone?

Ben and Nat at Lacrosse

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately which is great considering all of the outdoor activities we have going on. After Saturday’s Lacrosse tournament I spent a little time admiring more of the natural spring beauty in our yard. Ginkgo tree with new leaves, tulips, rhododendron…dandelion (well, at least it’s pretty when you look closely).

hipstamatic flowers 4-2

Sunday was another busy day with church in the morning and an afternoon of fishing with the Cub Scouts…

paleo quiche

Nathaniel looks at bridge

Nathaniel caught a fish and managed to earn his fishing belt loop in the process. He was very proud.

Nathaniel with fish

While working hard at fishing, we spied a few Canadian geese keeping their goslings very close while patrolling a part of the lake.

GeeseIMG_1965

Square foot gardening

After fishing we had a little time to work on our garden before it was time to make dinner. So far we’ve cleaned up our three 4′ x 10′ raised beds and amended the soil. This year we’ve decided to try “square foot gardening” (SFG) which is the practice of planning and creating small but intensively planted gardens. The idea is to maximize the yield by being super efficient with space. You follow guidelines for how much space and resources each plant needs to grow. For example, guidelines say you can get 16 radishes in one square foot while tomatoes should be planted one per square foot. This method also helps with weed control and can improve results of companion planting. In preparation for SFG we divided the beds into square feet plots. I’m sure we’ll post more through the season but here’s how it looked when we started two weeks ago.

square foot gardeningsquare foot gardening

We worked in our garden for a while before turning our attention to dinner. We were ready for something easy, hearty and healthy. Inspiration came from a photo I saw recently on Pinterest of a quiche with a spaghetti squash crust. I came up with a dish that adds grass-fed beef seasoned with chili powder and other “Tex Mex” spices combined with eggs and a few other veggies on a “crust” made of spaghetti squash. We also dubbed it “Taco Pie” because it sounded much more fun to my kids than the formal “paleo quiche with spaghetti squash crust.” (Funny how they respond to things based on the name!) The result is a grain-free, gluten-free, meaty quiche that works as a one-dish meal. My whole family loved it and I hope you will too.

Paleo Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

paleo quiche with spaghetti squash crust Continue reading

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Happy, Healthy and Free

“What we think, we become.”

It was my honor and privilege to be one of the speakers at a Ladies Day event yesterday hosted by the Bridgewater Church of Christ (at Garretson Rd) . The theme of the event was “Do You Know Who I Am?” and my topic was “Happy, Healthy and Free”. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart because I am very passionate about health and fitness for the WHOLE person Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit.

The starting point for my talk was the Bible verse Luke 2:52

Jesus grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and Man.

That verse encapsulates the entire 18 year period of Jesus’ growth from age 12 to the beginning of his ministry at the age of 30. It tells us that He grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. And I propose that we too need to focus on growing in these areas of our lives in order to be well-rounded individuals. I proposed how, instead of Happy, Healthy and Free, we are often Sick, Stressed and Depressed. This is something with which I am familiar because I have been all three of those things at certain points in my life. I shared some of what I have learned about the Mind-Body connection and how our bodies respond to stress. And lest anyone think that focusing on our own health is somehow self-indulgent, I argued that we NEED to work at our health in order to become more pleasing and useful to God.

What we think, we become. And just as the Lao Tzu quote expresses, our habits become our character which becomes our destiny. With that in mind, and through my own experiences, I have come up with Ten Healthy Habits for the Well-Rounded Person: Continue reading

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Paleo FX 2012: Movement and Fitness

In addition to lectures and Mastermind panel discussions, the Paleo FX Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium included several movement and fitness sessions. I tried to plan my schedule so I could participate in a few movement sessions without missing too many other things of special interest. Here are some highlights from the main fitness/movements sessions I attended.

MovNat

One of my main goals was to attend a MovNat session. MovNat was founded by Erwan Le Corre who has been proclaimed “one of the fittest men in the world” and a “fitness visionary” by Men’s Health magazine.

Erwan Le Corre via www.movnat.com

MovNat is a physical education and fitness system based entirely on using the full range of our natural, human-specific movements and is aimed at the real-world competency and conditioning that allows optimum physical and mental development.

There are thirteen basic MovNat movement skills:

  1. Lifting
  2. Carrying
  3. Throwing
  4. Catching
  5. Striking
  6. Grappling
  7. Walking
  8. Running
  9. Balancing
  10. Jumping
  11. Crawling
  12. Climbing
  13. Swimming

Here’s a short video that gives some examples of a MovNat workout.

Our instructor Brian led us through some MovNat skill training. Continue reading

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Healthy, Not Unholy – Part Two

In Part One of “Healthy, Not Unholy” we discussed the benefits and importance of physical fitness. Specifically, that exercise is important for physical and emotional health, how it teaches discipline and can contribute to our confidence. Today, I want to outline the potential downside to making physical fitness an important part of our lives.

To understand how the pursuit of physical fitness and attractiveness can potentially lead one away from God, it  is important to understand the meaning of the word “idolatry.” Idolatry is one of those words that immediately stokes the imagination. It may bring to mind images of ancient civilizations and mystic ceremonies where people dance around large statues and make violent sacrifices to strange and exotic deities.

Ok, ok….sometimes I let my imagination get away from me….but while what I described is accurate, it is not the whole story. According to the dictionary, the primary meaning of idolatry is “the worship of a physical object as a god.” As Christians, we do not acknowledge the existence of any deity but the God of the Bible. Therefore, it is accurate to label the worship of another supposed supernatural being or physical object as idolatry.

And God takes a very dim view of idolatry. In fact, He considers it sinful. We know this because He told us so several times. For example, in the Old Testament book of Exodus, His dislike of idolatry is revealed to Moses as the 1st Commandment:

Exodus 20:2-3

I am The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Remember, God gave Moses 10 Commandments, but the very first one describes His view of idolatry! In verse 5 of the same chapter of Exodus, God elaborates further:

Exodus 20:5

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. Continue reading

Healthy, Not Unholy: Part 1

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I have a confession to make:

I’m into physical fitness.

That’s right. I exercise regularly. I do it for many different reasons.

I use the word “confession” to make a point: some Christians may believe the pursuit of physical fitness, health and attractiveness are not worthy goals for Christians to pursue. While I disagree with that position, I admit their concerns can be legitimate in some cases. In a series of three posts I would like to explore:

Part 1) the benefits and importance of physical fitness

Part 2) the potential downside to pursuing fitness

Part 3) the reasons we NEED to put effort into our physical well-being in order to be more pleasing to God.

Let’s look at the positive impact exercise and fitness can bring to our physical bodies as well as to our spiritual lives. Paul’s choice of a sports metaphor in the quote from 1 Corinthians 9 was not accidental.

Exercise is Beneficial to Physical Health

Continue reading

AntiGravity Yoga at Core Connection Studio

vampire pose in antigravity yogaOver the past month I have had the wonderful opportunity to experience what is known as AntiGravity Yoga. Prior to a friend telling me about Core Connection Studio I had never heard of AntiGravity Yoga. After visiting their website and seeing photographs and videos of this most unusual practice I knew I wanted to find out more about it.

AntiGravity Yoga (also known as “Aerial Yoga”) is part of an emerging exercise field known as “suspension training”. It was developed by dancer Christopher Harrison (in the 1990s) as a training technique for gymnasts. It was launched to the public in 2007 in New York City. Harrison contracted Lyme disease in 2008 which caused his joints to freeze up and his muscles to atrophy. He used his own techniques in suspension training to get back to health.

The Core Connection Studio website describes it this way:

“AntiGravity Yoga combines traditional yoga principles with elements from aerial acrobatics, dance, Pilates and calisthenics. AntiGravity Yoga helps students realign their body and Spirit with the tool of gravity that serves to achieve physical and mental decompression. You will learn to fly, hold and balance in challenging yoga poses longer, gain better kinesthetic awareness, build cardiovascular and muscular strength, become more flexible, increase joint mobility, decompress the vertebrae of the spine without strain and utilize the agility you’ve gained from yoga to play with gravity! The class emphasis is to have fun while learning new skills while experiencing a total body workout.”

Class begins, like other yoga classes, with meditation, and then transitions to strengthening and stretching activities as well as traditional yoga poses modified for the hammock. You end the class in shavasana while cocooned in the hammock.

One of my favorite things about AntiGravity Yoga is the inversions. Inversions are poses that turn the body upside down to a point where the feet are above the head.

Here’s what an inversion looks like:

antigravity yoga inversion

The above photo is my attempt at “Monkey Pose”. The picture was shot before I got all the way in the pose which would have shown my knees bent and my feet touching. But you get the idea. The first time I got into this pose my initial urge was to tighten up my back and core muscles. But once I felt comfortable I was able to relax the muscles and enjoy the lengthening sensation. Several people have documented an increase in height from doing inversions with the hammock. Even though I have not measured myself, I can attest to the intense stretching and feeling of spinal decompression and alignment. Being wrapped in the hammock ensures your bodyweight is more evenly distributed than if you were using “Anti-Gravity Boots” or something similar. This means the inversions are very comfortable. The AntiGravity class also provides what can only be described as the equivalent of a deep-tissue massage in certain poses when the hammock is tight across the hip flexors.

Here are a couple more examples of inversions. Continue reading

The Strictly Paleo Plan

When I first discovered the Paleo lifestyle in February of 2011 I dove in headfirst and completed a strict Paleo eating plan for the first 30 days. My motivation was to figure out if what I was eating might be contributing to my fibromyalgia, fatigue, chronic respiratory infections and depression. I was already fairly lean but not especially healthy and I was frustrated with doctors who could not explain my symptoms. All my tests were normal and yet I was NOT okay. With the new year I am starting another “reset” by going Strictly Paleo© and thought it would be helpful to others to outline exactly what this means.

During my previous “experiment” I discovered certain food groups had been negatively impacting my health. The changes I have seen and felt since going Paleo have been pretty dramatic. If you have any unexplained aches and pains, inflammation, allergies, skin or digestive problems or other ailments or if you simply cannot manage to lose weight or keep it off you should seriously consider how the food you eat may be impacting your health. A Strictly Paleo reset may be just what you need to change your life.

What is Strictly Paleo©?

Most simply stated, Strictly Paleo means eating real food that excludes certain potentially problematic food groups for an experimental elimination period of at least 30 days.

What you DO eat:

  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fats from nuts, seeds and fruits

Here’s a handy guide to help with shopping.

What you DO NOT eat: Continue reading

Paleo and the City: Lululemon and The Central Park Zoo

Over the summer I took my boys into New York City a few times. It was the first summer since going paleo so our jaunts included efforts to find paleo eats wherever we went. We were fairly successful. You can find most anything in New York so it stands to reason one could find plenty of paleo-friendly food. Afterall, paleo means eating meat, vegetables, some fruit and nuts and good fats – not really that hard. Of course, New York has its share of food temptations. We had to avoid the street vendors with dessert crêpes and falafel. We did not indulge in black & white cookies and cannoli. And we stayed away from Italian restaurants – with one exception, Mario Batali’s La Lupa. That was tough because, let me tell you, there are REALLY good Italian restaurants in New York City. Sigh.

Lululemon Athletica

I lugged my camera every time we went in and managed to get some fun shots. You can see a few of them in a previous post about our trip to Madison Square Park – Paleo and the City: Madison Square Park. That particular trip was during a week when my oldest son, Big Boy, was away at church camp and Sweet Pea and I were on our own. We took a second trip into “The City” that same week which included a stop at Lululemon Athletica (quite the yoga-wear Mecca). My husband G has gotten into yoga over the last year. He enjoys practicing when he has the time and appreciates the multiple benefits. Lululemon has a fantastic men’s line of yoga clothing. But even though G is quite comfortable in his manhood he simply cannot abide the name. He can’t bring himself to buy clothes from a store with “lulu” in the name. Maybe if they changed it to “Stevestevelemon” or “BobBoblemon” or simply “Lulemon”?? Next time I shop there I may buy him something but disguise it to look like it came from a more manly sounding athletic store. In spite of the unusual name, Lululemon sells terrific products. Everything I have purchased there has been great quality and has worn and washed well. The yoga top you see in the photo below came from Lululemon. Come to think of it, so did the hat.20111027-044307.jpg

Continue reading