Life is Now

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I spent most of June in California. I liked my trip so much that I decided to come back and keep exploring, only this time without a return ticket.

I allowed myself to do this because my only full-time commitment is my Health Coaching job, which thankfully I can pursue online. I am a free person, taking full advantage of that precious right. So I thought to myself, what are you waiting for?

Since I wanted to keep traveling, I decided my best option would be to get a home on wheels. I searched for camper vans, trailers… anything I could drive and live in comfortably and be self contained.

I headed to Oregon with the mission of finding my ideal setup, starting my adventure there and working my way south. I arrived and stayed at a dear friend’s home near Portland with his family. Knowing my needs and having their own, they suggested I buy a truck and camper setup, so that’s what I pointed towards. 

I had estimated about a week to buy and set up my rig, since I saw so many offers online I thought it would be easy peasy… but it wasn’t. Firstly I found out my bank did not have a branch in the entire state of Oregon, so I started off with some logistic issues. Then, when I finally found a used truck I loved that looked in good shape, I scheduled an appointment with a mechanic to take a look at it the following morning and as I headed to there, the owner called me to say he sold the truck to someone else. 

A lot else went down during my search but I had some smiling faces to come home to at the end of each day which was definitely uplifting. 

It took me about a month to get this all put together, with a lot of perseverant work and effort, but now that it’s done and I’m rolling I couldn’t be happier.

I explored a little bit of Oregon and headed to California where I currently am, finding suitable weather, encounters with Nature, meeting up with friends and family and with the waves in the ocean.

I am close to 30 years old, getting to know myself each day a little bit better and catering to my needs. Now was the perfect time to take the opportunity and nourish my adventurous soul who likes to wander around the globe, undergoing fulfilling experiences.

I love giving to others and was programmed to do so since the moment I was born, and possibly several lives before that. I still continue to do so, only understanding that I have a lot I need to give to myself first. You can’t really pour from an empty glass.

Following and flowing with my instinct, I am able to feel fulfilment and joy, strengthening my most powerful and meaningful relationship-that one with myself.

You, reading this, know that love and joy reside within you. Sometimes connecting is a process, but it’s always possible. Life is now.


Sustainable Cabarete Eats

A lot of people ask me, where do you get local, organic produce in Cabarete? How can you eat clean? So this blog post is an answer to those questions. It’s not easy to find 100% organic in Cabarete, but definitely healthy, fresh and sustainable. It’s also up to us, the consumers, to contribute and build a sustainable community. A small gesture that will greatly impact the environment is asking your barista to hold the straws before they pop ‘em in your drink and having your own reusable food containers.

The Restaurants at Natura Cabana

Yes, I am biased, and with good reason. Both restaurants at Natura Cabana are pretty darn delicious and fresh, using organic produce from the property’s own organic garden. When available, most of the greens, herbs, beach almonds and coconuts, some fruit and vegetables come from Natura’s own terroir. Some of the ingredients that are bought externally are also organic and fair-trade, and what isn’t organic is sourced as freshly and locally as possible. Both restaurants (and the hotel in general) are constantly taking green steps towards sustainability. The establishment is currently straw free, prioritises products in glass containers which are then recycled. All organic food waste is used as compost in the garden. Natura also gives back to the community supporting local non profit organisations and events annually. 20 minute lovely walk on the beach from Encuentro.

Karaya opens daily, serving breakfast, lunch, smoothies, snacks and drinks. When available, the salads are made with abundant greens from the organic garden. Some of these are varieties of arugula, varieties of lettuce, varieties of mustard greens, purslane, spinach, moringa, etc. Juices and smoothies are freshly made to your taste upon order.

My favorite dishes: Eggs Benedict, Spring Salad & Tropical Ceviche

Natura Restaurant is open nightly for dinner. Absolutely everything in this gourmet restaurant is made from scratch, from the bread (also gluten-free), to the pastas and the delicious desserts. Food allergies or intolerances? Just let the staff know and they’ll take care of you. There is something for every palate at Natura. The chef likes to keep it fresh by creating specials every week-make sure you check the black board.

My favorites: Malbec Filet, Gold Gnocchi (I personally order a dairy-free version with almond cream) & Raw Cake-I could eat this for breakfast and not feel guilty.

http://www.naturacabana.com/restaurants/

Gordito’s Fresh Mex

The best quality “fast-food” you’ll ever find in town. Conveniently located at Ocean Dream Plaza, Gordito’s will hook you up with delicious, fresh tex mex. I’ve seen the local fishermen arrive with fresh Mahi-Mahi’s at Gordito’s so you can be sure to have fresh fish every day. Ingredients used in their kitchen are all local, some organic. 5% of gross sales are donated to the community. There’s also a zero waste food policy and many of their sources are reused again outside of the restaurant. It’s in their business plan to eliminate foam and plastic, including straws, in 2019.

Try: Mambo Fish Tacos (ask for corn-tortillas if you’re GF, no cream sauce if you’re DF) & Carnitas Nachos (to die for). 

http://gorditosfreshmex.com/Menu.html

Fresh Fresh Cabarete

Fresh Fresh has a wide selection of smoothies, breakfast and lunch options. The superfoods and supplements used in their smoothies, Milagros coffee, loose leaf teas, vegetable milks and most greens and fruits are organic. The owners purchase the rest from small local vendors whenever possible. Aside from their restaurant service, they have a very cute local artisan market filled with handcrafted products ranging from soaps, cosmetics, pantry items and the highly recommendable Raiz Herbal Remedies. Fresh Fresh uses biodegradable to-go cups and boxes. I kindly ask them to hold the straws and cup toppers in my smoothies. Relaxed atmosphere, AC area indoors and outdoor terrace.

My favorite smoothies: Coconut Detox & Blueberry Basil

https://www.instagram.com/freshfreshcafe

My favorite remedies from Raiz Herbal: Amor Aromatherapy roll-on & Royal Anti Age Balm.

https://www.facebook.com/RaizHerbalRemedies/

Vagamundo

I’m not a coffee person but that’s why a lot of people come to Vagamundo. They also feature different coffee beans from around the globe so you can switch the flavors up periodically. I like this cute little joint for their almond milk matcha lattes and GF waffles. Their smoothie bowls which are nice and fresh, also pretty filling. Their zuma protein bowl make a nice, filling savory snack or meal if you’re a light eater. Their coffee, milk, granola and many other ingredients are also organic and fair trade.  They support and work hand in hand with the non-profit organisation Niños de la Luz, giving street kids the opportunity to restore their lives through family, education and disciplineship. These kids then have the opportunity to become Vagamundo employees. Talk about a dedicated company mission!

If you know what I mean: Definitely The Graceland GF Waffle paired with an almond milk matcha latte

https://vagamundocoffee.com/

Monster Juice

I went to the opening of this new place in town a little over a month ago. It’s located in Pro Cab (but I heard they have a new location coming soon) with a nice garden where you can chill at. I ordered their super freshly made on the spot ice cream. It’s basically just frozen fruit, nothing else added, which I very much appreciated. They offer unusual juice combinations, adding variety to what’s already out there.

https://www.facebook.com/monsterjuicecabarete/

The Honey Company locally crafts delicious honey, supplements and natural cosmetics. At their cute little spot in Harmony you can also have breakfast.

http://thehoneyco.com/

The three main supermarkets in the area (Playero, Pola & Janet’s) all have an organic/health section with organic shelf-stable products. They also carry two local produce brands, Finca Verde Organics & Taino Organic Farm, of which both have farms located in Jamao. I always switch up my supermarket visits and go to the three of them, this way I’m sure to get variety. A lot of the produce in Playero’s supermarket are grown on the owner’s lands. Remember to bring or buy if you already haven’t your reusable supermarket bags!

One last thing I recommend no matter where you are is get some organic seeds, some nice soil and some pots and plant your own stuff. Have some spare land? Even better-you won’t need pots. Now you can grow and raise your own food. It takes time and dedication to do this, but then you’ll really be sure about what you’re putting in your body.

If you have any favorite organic, local or sustainable spots for grub I haven’t mentioned, please comment below! 

Love,

Bianca


Change your World with Meditation

What do you think about when you hear the word Meditation?

I’ve found that so many people are so hesitant of this practice-they find it dreadful, boring, annoying or which ever their negative feeling is associated to it. The interesting thing is that a lot of these people have never even tried it and already have these conceptions of it.

I was fortunate enough to have grown up watching my mom meditate. Of course, when I was 8 years old, I thought it was weird and didn’t really understand what it meant. My mother had a small yoga temple at our garden. She would sit in there every evening at sunset and go about her ritual. We were asked to be quiet during these hours.

One day, I accepted my mom’s invitation and joined her. She told me take off my shoes before entering the temple and whenever I was ready to leave, to do so quietly. We sat cross-legged on the floor, as I carefully watched her every move as she placed dry cow manure cakes on a copper inverted pyramid tray. She added ghee and lit it up. I was intrigued by how focused and still my mother was-I was thinking, this must be really important. I was a very hyperactive child and was already feeling antsy just by sitting still inside an enclosed space, not knowing what to expect. After the contents of the tray were smoking, my mother closed her eyes and gently started talking: “Now, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Clear your mind of all thoughts and imagine your mind is a blank piece of paper.” As she was saying this last sentence, my mind started racing with a million thoughts. I quickly but quietly got up and left the room.

Years later I experimented with yoga but never kept a consistent practice, until I was 18. Since then, I’ve never really stopped. Sure, I’ve had periods where I haven’t practiced, but everywhere I’ve lived I’ve found my favorite yoga instructors and attended their classes as regularly as possible. I also practice at home from time to time, although I like being instructed and corrected. As mindfulness and meditation are part of the yoga practice, I slowly started incorporating this outside of my yoga practice. I read a lot of books about these ways of life, meditation, yoga, chakras, energy, about the eastern mindset and living the now. I attended a Meditation Retreat at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in the Bahamas and thoroughly enjoyed it. Like yoga, I haven’t had a consistent meditation practice throughout, but when I do meditate daily for long period of time (weeks + months), I feel like I am a better person.

I’m not saying that you’re a bad person if you don’t meditate, but the benefits of meditating just make sense-especially in this era. The results are guaranteed-and you will feel like a better person as well.

Personally, when I keep a consistent meditation practice, I am better able to control my thoughts, emotions and reactions. I am less affected by the external. I get in touch with myself and learn each time a little bit more about who I am. I get in touch with my true needs-what I actually want in order to be happy and live a fulfilling life. I can see a clearer picture of my journey. My stress and anxiety levels greatly diminish. I feel happier. It’s easier for me to focus as my mind is not being bombarded with thoughts-and when it is, I am aware and able to let them go instead of getting caught up in them. I have more control over my self-which is the only thing we really can control.

If you’re still reading this by now you’re probably like ok, so how do I Meditate?

There’s no right way of meditating as it’s something completely bioindividual, but I’ll tell you how I do it. It’s part of my morning routine so I get out of bed, stretch, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, drink water, stretch, take a shower and then prepare for the ritual. I don’t eat anything, I don’t talk to anyone and I specifically haven’t deactivated my phone from airplane mode. Before I sit down and meditate, I wiggle and shake my body to let it loose. I sit comfortably on a chair and ground my feet, straighten my back and relax my shoulders. Once I find my position, I sometimes set a timer to 5 or 10 minutes (begin with 5, then work your way up to 10), other times when I feel like doing so for longer I don’t set the timer. Once that’s set, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Any incoming thought, I accept it and let it go. I focus on my body, sitting here and now. I focus on the sounds surrounding me. I become aware of the present. I focus on my breath and am aware of the thoughts that arrive to my mind, I consciously don’t let them invade me, and let them go, focusing back on my breath.

Meditation begins with practicing that awareness so you are able to control your mind. If all that happens for weeks during your practice is that you realize how caught up you get in your thoughts, that’s perfect. Awareness is the starting point, and it’s key. Your mind is like a muscle, you need to work it our constantly and build up in order to reach higher states of consciousness. You won’t get there in one go.

Meditation connects us with ourselves. Society does everything it can to take this self-connection away from us. The media is distracting us, persuading us. We are being bombarded with information at such a high rate that sometimes we can’t even tell if what we are thinking is what we really believe or what someone else is telling us to believe. We are scared to connect with ourselves and find out how how unique and powerful we are, what we are capable of. People are scared to connect with that divine energy that exists in the universe, in all living beings and thus inside of us. If you practice letting go of the external and connect with the internal, you will find beauty and you will find bliss.


Visitors During my Elimination Diet

 I officially started and stuck to my Elimination diet of corn, eggs and soy July 7th. About halfway through the diet, while everything was going well, I started getting random stomach aches. I thought it was too soon to get any reactions since I hadn’t reintroduced any of the foods yet… The following day I ate a part of a fish burger that hadn’t been fully cooked. I immediately had it cooked thoroughly so I could finish my lunch. Once it was cooked I continued eating and before I was even I got a really bad stomach ache, brain fog and extreme fatigue-all at once. My day was over… I wasn’t only feeling physically ill but I couldn’t use my brain to think or do anything. I went to bed early that night. The next day I went to see Dr. Gideon, the only functional medicine practitioner in the area who believes in Integrative Nutrition (thankfully, he exists) and told him about my experience. I told him I thought something was out of balance in my gut flora. Since I’ve had quite a few of these experiences in the past, I thought this was one of those. We did medical tests and sure enough Blastocistys Hominis was invading my gut. This guy is a microscopic parasite that can be living inside your gut as well and you wouldn’t even know it. Many people live with parasites and never have or perceive any symptoms.

I did a ten day herbal + probiotic treatment which I just finished yesterday and so far so good. Symptoms quickly eased, and so I was able to reintroduce corn this past weekend and continue with my Elimination Diet Protocol (if you’re not sure what this is, read my previous blog post). Thankfully, I didn’t have any particular reaction to corn. I don’t consume corn often, but when I eat tacos it’s corn tortillas and I will not refuse a Venezuelan Arepa Party.

Sometimes our intolerances can clear up simply by eliminating a food group for a period of time. The body asks you for a break, you give it that break, and after any given amount of time you are able to continue eating that food with no reaction. Since I moved back to Dominican Republic over 4 years ago, I’d been consuming a lot of coconut in every form. Fresh coconut water and meat, dry coconut chips, flakes, butter, oil-you name it. After particularly consuming copious amounts of coconut water every day for a few weeks in a row, I started getting stomach aches every time I drank some. I didn’t want to believe it was the coconut water because I love it so much, so I kept on drinking. Every time the stomach aches were worse, so honoring this body that I am very grateful for, I stopped. No coconut for a few weeks until my body was ready for it again-and I successfully enjoyed the beverage. Same coconut tree, no symptoms. Our bodies are wise, just listen to what yours is telling you.


Living the Dream

This month I decided to follow my instinct and went on a last minute 3-week roadtrip to coastal California by myself. It kind of changed my perception of life.

I had visited LA and surroundings a few times in the past. The first time was in 2006 when I took film and painting classes during the summer at UCLA. The following year was for a wedding where I also went to Las Vegas for the Cirque du Soleil show “O”, which was the only reason we went-thankfully it was a good one. Both trips were cool.

I had always wanted to visit the rest of the state. There’s something attractive about it… between the relaxed vibes and the conscious environmentalist culture-somehow I couldn’t take it off my mind. A few years ago, we planned the trip with two of my besties. We got our tickets and were almost on our way when for some inconvenience reasons we cancelled it. From my side, I just had planned to many trips close to one another (classic) and another one just wasn’t realistic. Since then, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment when I can take enough time off and have enough money to go on the trip… Waiting for this perfect set-up that probably only exists in my mind. We love to dream about things that we never do so I decided I needed to make this dream a reality.

Regardless of how much time or money I had, I would make it work. I booked a trip for two weeks and told my mom about it. “Two weeks?” she said, “Make it at least 3 if you want to do the whole coast!” I was very happy she liked the idea of my trip so I took her advice and extended it. 

My route was as follows: I landed in LA, went southeast to Joshua Tree, then to the Mexican Border in San Diego and worked my way north on the 101 and smaller coastal roads, also going somewhat inland to certain points of interest. I was going at a really nice and relaxed pace. I visited friends, camped out, stayed at some motels and hotels and also slept in my car some nights. I hiked a lot, visited organic farms, holistic practitioners, health stores and markets, surfed, nourished my body and soul, contemplating and appreciating my environment.

Having the time of my life, going with the flow and deciding where to go, what to visit, when where how and why all by myself. I had such an incredible sense of freedom. I barely saw any police and only got hustled by a crazy lady once in Venice Beach where I immediately crossed the street away from her. 

While in Santa Cruz, I suddenly realised it was the end of my second week, had only one week left and half a state yet to visit (+ my drive back down to LAX for my departing flight). This last week I drove lots more on a daily basis since my time constraint.

The northernest place I visited was Klamath, almost at the border with Oregon. Had I had more time, I would have kept going north. The more north I went, the more magical and mystical the environment became. Speaking of mystical… the Redwoods. I can’t describe the magestic energy these trees emit. You just need to go hang out with these impressive beings.

I will soon be posting travel tips and places to visit. If you want to go on this trip and flow, take 4 weeks if you are able to.

California, I love you and I will be back very soon.


Nourishing your Moai

When we think about health, we usually think about medicine, food or supplements. Depending on the kind of person you are, you might also think about surgery or superfoods. Essentially, we think about treating our physical selves.


With this post I would like to emphasise that your body is a vehicle for your soul, which can be in fact a determining factor for your health. One form of uplifting nourishment, and a key component to longevity is belonging to a Moai.


Dan Buettner, researcher of the world’s healthiest and longest living people, identified that one element these centenerians have in common across all cultures is belonging to a Moai. In Japan, a Moai is a social support group that “meets for a common purpose”, gathering daily or couple days a week for social, work and financial support. In Okinawa, where this tradition was established, the Moai is determined during childhood, where a group of about 5 children commit to each other for life.  In Japan, Moais can last for over 90 years!


So call it your tribe, your gang or your posse-the only difference might be that a Moai stands solid since all members commit to it for life. It’s like having a group of friends that you know will be there for you when you need them. Your Moai nourishes you but you also have to nourish it. What goes around comes around, so if you give support, attention and care, you shall receive. 


The body is the most incredibly complex biocomputer which supports us on this material world. It can breathe on autopilot, heart beats on autopilot, it tells you when you need to drink, to eat, to sleep. Through these amazing bodies of ours are also manifested messages. Symptoms, diseases or conditions are our body’s way of communicating that something needs attention, that something needs to be changed. These can be big or small, physical, emotional or spiritual changes.


The same way our skin glows and our eyes sparkle when we feel blissful and satisfied with our lives-the body reflects who we are internally at any given moment. So we need to nourish ourselves out of the plate first. For a second, forget the superfoods and think about your soul. How are you nourishing it? 

Essentially, as cheesy as this may sound, love heals. Accepting and loving ourselves is a path that will always lead to healing-no matter what the issue. Having a group of friends with the correct energy to share experiences, lift each other up and hold each other accountable is an essential way to nourish your life at a primary level. Your Moai makes up part of our primary food-nourishing ourselves and our loved ones with genuine care and support.


To learn more about Dan Buettner’s research on the Moai tradition and how it impacts longevity, click here.


The Elimination Diet

Hey friends!


I hope you’re having an awesome day while you read this. I am definitely having a great one as I’m writing.


This month I officially started my elimination diet.


Like all healthy diets, it’s a diet that’s done for a determined amount of time with the purpose of finding out if specific foods are harming your body (a.k.a. intolerances) in the present. I specify in the present because as our body and environment changes, so do our needs, including the dietary ones. So something your body doesn’t want now, it might want it in the future or vice versa.


Food intolerance symptoms include indigestion, bloating, heartburn, nausea, cramps, headaches, inflammation, fatigue, and the list goes on and on. We are all unique and have different reactions.


There are may ways of going about the elimination diet and it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you have any severe illnesses or medical conditions, don’t try this (or any) diet without a doctor’s supervision. If you feel pretty solid about your health and feel comfortable experimenting then by all means give it a go. I am not a doctor nor responsible for your choice in doing this but I can certainly support and guide you along the process like a good health coach.


Here’s a classic way to go about it: eliminate the 5 top allergens (corn, gluten, soy, eggs and dairy) for 3 weeks. Then, reintroduce one food group at a time and feel your body’s reaction as you smell, taste, chew and swallow that food. Observe how you feel a few minutes and a few hours after eating it. If you feel good, then keep including this food in your meals for the next couple of days. If after 3 days you still feel great, then you are free to eat this food group and reintroduce the next one. If you don’t feel good, then immediately eliminate the food group and wait another week to get it out of your system before you reintroduce the following food group. The point is that your body is feeling good as you reintroduce each food group separately so that you can observe the reaction after it’s been completely eliminated from your system. It helps a lot to keep a food journal to note your reactions.

If you have cleansed your body for 3 weeks from all the food groups you want to test and you still don’t feel good, there might be something else you are eating that you might need to eliminate and test as well.


This diet works best when your senses are heightened, which also allows you to clease your body. This means also eliminating loads of processed foods (most have corn and soy anyway), refined sugar, too much condiments, flavourings, chemicals and basically everything fake out there that our human bodies are not meant to be consuming…


Why am I doing this diet? I’ve suffered from many gastrointestinal issues and had many severe intolerance symptoms during my lifetime that could have certainly been avoided had I known my body wasn’t tolerating certain foods. Dairy has been a huge culprit in my life and gluten in most forms gives me humongous inflammation and both food groups have fed many colonies in my GI tract so I’m very acquainted with my body’s reaction to these. This doesn’t mean I never have dairy or wheat, but I do so very sparingly. This year I’ve had about one serving of natural or organic cultured yoghurt a month. If I have a yoghurt two days in a row though, I know I could be in trouble. Regarding the gluten, I had one serving of spelt veggie pasta last month and I felt fine. Oh, one of my best friends gave me a piece of “gluten-free” cake earlier this year which we found out from my instant reaction was clearly not gluten free-then her mother confirmed it. I save my pizzas for when I go to Italy and then just assume the consequences. My body forgives me.


In this diet I will only be reintroducing corn, eggs and soy, which are the ones I am uncertain about. Many people include fish, shellfish, caffeine and nuts in their elimination diets as they are also common allergens. I personally don’t eat shellfish, have no reaction to the occasional fish I eat and only consume caffeine in small cacao doses (I am very aware of the reaction I get). I will do another elimination diet just for nuts possibly right after finishing this one.

If you’re interested in doing an elimination diet yourself, reach out to me commenting on this post and we’ll have each other’s backs.


Knowledge is power, and preventing disease simply by choosing what you put in your body is  even more powerful.


Have a lovely day!


The Perfect Diet

There is no perfect diet.


A lot of people ask me what I eat, whats the “right” diet or what they should be eating. The truth is that maybe you shouldn’t eat what I eat and most probably vice versa.


As human beings, we are bioindividual. This means that each of us has unique bodies and needs, depending on many factors like genetics, lifestyle, level of physical activity and geographic location. Our nutritional needs shift as any of these factors shift, as we age, if we find ourselves in a specific condition, if we are pregnant, etcetera. But sure, I’ll give you an example of what my diet looks like in the present moment.


What I eat: at the moment I live in the Dominican Republic so I  mainly eat what I can get locally: all kinds of vegetables including root, fruit, grains, some nuts and seeds, some fish and other forms of animal protein sparingly and when I know for sure that they’re fed what their bodies are designed to eat, are clean of chemicals and antibiotics and lived a happy life. Sometimes I eat dark chocolate and drink herbal teas, especially when my body is calling for these things. The same goes for probiotics, superfoods and supplements-I use them sparingly when I need an extra kick. I try to stick to organic, although the options are limited here. I drink lots of water.


What I stay away from: the main one is gluten because it kind of paralyzes my digestive system. If i’m in Italy I will for sure have a pizza (or two) and assume the consequences. Dairy gives me allergies, although some quality parmesan and probiotic yoghurt does me good in tiny sporadic doses-about once or twice a month and only if my body really craves it. I especially stay away from processed foods (aka junk), sugar, sodas, and most things that dont come from the earth. I do eat some gluten free pasta once in a while. I stay away from GMOs and anything associated with chemicals. Sometimes its unavoidable but hey-I try my best.


Last year I was alcohol free for about a year due to health reasons, and when I was able to incorporate it again, my body didn’t want it anymore. My body has never really liked alcohol in any form-I have gotten pretty bad allergic reactions a few times. This year i’ve had about two glasses of wine but since i’m in no wine country, i’m not really missing out. I will definitely enjoy a glass of quality red wine with a meal whenever the occasion arises and if my body craves it.


There are certain healthy foods that my body just doesn’t tolerate, like broccoli for example. Broccoli is a super healthy cancer fighting food and I recommend everyone who can digest it to eat it, but my body just doesn’t want it, never has and don’t know if ever will. I do eat other cruciferous vegetables instead. I was also having lots of coconut water because I find it really hydrated and nourished me, but about a month ago, I started getting a stomach ache every time I drank it. What does this mean? My system doesn’t want it at the moment, so I just stop having it. Simple as that.


The best way to determine what you should be eating is to listen to your body. Eat foods that nourish you, that make your body feel great, and that you love. Of course there are some essential nutritional habits you should keep in mind, like drinking lots of water, eating lots of fruits and vegetables every day and staying away from refined and processed foods (a.k.a. junk). Always choose organic and local if possible. Also remember to rotate your foods so you don’t develop an intolerance, like me with the coconut!


Your body knows what it needs - listen to it.


Live Longer, Better

Did you know that studies show that one of the indicators of how long you’ll live is actually at what age you think you’ll die? I thought that was pretty impressive and shows how powerful our thoughts are.


Modern medicine has had some positive effects on longevity since generally we are living longer than before. But as Dr. Libby puts it, are we actually living longer or dying longer? Nowadays there is more chronic illness than ever before, people get diseases at a younger age every day, and the quality of life in our planet is clearly in descend. 


“Blue Zones” are geographic zones where there is a high concentration of people that live significantly longer than anywhere else in the world. After Sardinia was identified at the first blue zone where people live past 100 like it’s no big deal, Dan Buettner continued the research and discovered the four other locations in the world where people share this trait. These locations are Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece) and Loma Linda (California). Although these places are very spread out across the globe, research was carried out for about a decade to find out which traits these areas share that contribute to longevity. Click here to find out what the Power 9 are.


Integrative Nutrition is a sustainable way of life where humans live their life towards a pattern that is naturally designed for them, preventing illness and everything associated with it. Modern Society is generally making us sicker and sicker, but the good news is that we always have a choice. Which path will you take?



The six pillars of Physical Wellbeing according to Deepak Chopra

This month at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition live conference, Deepak Chopra discussed the six pillars of physical wellbeing according to scientific studies. This a great guide to being your healthiest and happiest self.


1. Sleep

When you sleep, your body rests and recovers, essential for optimal health and wellbeing. Your tissue repairs, muscles grow, regulating hormones are released, your immune system is strengthened. With proper rest, energy, alertness, focus, libido and creativity are increased and mood is improved. You are also at a lower risk of contracting many life-threatening diseases. Sleeping in free, by the way.


2. Meditation & Stress Management

When your body is still and your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, your cells and organs are able to properly carry out their functions. Stress is an enormous contributing factor to illness nowadays. Meditation, in whichever form works for you, allows you to exercise your mind’s muscle in order to live a healthier and happier life. Explore the benefits and forms of meditation that may best suit you. Remember that consistency is key!


3. Movement / Yoga / Pranayama

Exercise plays an important role in burning off physical and mental stress byproducts and rids your body of toxins. Aside from this cleansing aspect, exercise secretes feel-good hormones like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, which make us happy. Yoga and Pranayama are excellent physical activities that influence your vagal tone, lowering your heart rate (which is the main indicator of your health) and allowing all of your bodily functions to function flawlessly.


4. Emotions

Healthy emotions connect you to life: love, compassion, empathy, joy, playfulness gratitude, equanimity and peace. Negative emotions like fear, hostility, guilt, shame, depression and anger cause disruption of homeostasis and inflammation in the body. Almost every chronic illness has a background of low grade inflammation. Studies show that chronic heart failure patients were able to lower their inflammatory markers by simply keeping a gratitude journal every night.


5. Nutrition / Nourishment

Everything we eat makes up our cells, either contributing to disease or health. Live foods, those coming directly from the earth and unprocessed, are what our human bodies are meant to eat. You can theoretically reverse any chronic illness with diet. Natural foods that get energy from the sun aid your micro biome to be stable. The more contaminated and processed your food is, the more your gut will be out of balance. 


6. Biological Rhythms / Grounding

When we follow the circadian, seasonal, lunar and tidal rhythms, we are in sync with the universe. Examples are being active when the sun is out and sleeping when night falls and eating what’s fresh, local and in season. Direct contact with nature like walking barefoot on the earth helps to reset your circadian rhythm, connecting back with the universe. Negative ions from the earth enter your body neutralising free radicals that are mainly caused by stress. Every time you ground yourself, you decrease inflammation in your body, reseting your biological rhythms. Being in harmony and synchronicity allows you to manifest anything you want to bring into your life.

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