Yoga Pose of the Day – Hip opening, Hamstring sequence

Gentle Hip and Hamstring Openers

The rain has finally arrived in California and the North West and that got me thinking many of us all over America (especially in the east) have been inside a lot more lately. Most of those outdoor activities we love are on hiatus – meaning we are probably spending a lot more time that we should sitting down. All that sitting is a recipe for tight hips and tighter hamstrings, Even for those of us that are avid skiers and snow-sport lovers tight hips are still a winter concern if your looking for optimal performance on the mountain.  

1) Warm up with a few sun salutations

http://www.yogajournal.com/video/267

2) Reclining Pigeon

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Hold this pose for 10 good breaths rocking gently back and forth (only by a few inches) to deepen the stretch.

3) Reclining Pigeon with extended bottom leg.

If your right leg is crossed over the left then extended the left leg straight and rock slightly for 10 breaths. To deepen the stretch grab hold of the left leg big toe with the left hand peace fingers, holding the right leg open with the right forearm.

4) IT Band Stretch

Release the right leg down keeping the left one extended arms out to a T similar to the bellow picture.

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From this position (but without the strap) turn the big toe in towards the center line of the body and let it drop across the midline by a few inches. The further you turn in the toe the more it will stretch.

5) Knee into chest

Draw your left knee into your chest and hold for 10 breaths.

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release the leg down and spend a moment to see if one leg feels longer than the other.

Repeat all steps on the other side.

Cooking Oils Part 2

So what oils should we be cooking with?

Well that depends on what your doing with them. These oils are listed roughly in descending order based on their oxidation potential with the “no heat” oils being less stable and more easily oxidized. Oxidized oils deplete the bodies antioxidants and can lead to damage and inflammation, so don’t make your bodies clean up crews work overtime if they don’t have to! Just switch cooking oils.

image take from recipe-finder.com

image take from
recipe-finder.com

Cooking oils and recommended usage:

For very high heat I’d recommend a little…
Coconut oil
ghee
butter
tallow
Avocado oil (cold pressed is best)
palm oil (preferably red palm because of its high CoQ10 and vitamin E content)

These are most stable at higher heats and when frying (which in general I would recommend sparingly because of the increased production of AGE’s [advanced glycation end products] in the foods being fried – AGE’s fittingly enough make you age faster and have been linked to cancer and inflammation related diseases).

*It is important to keep in mind that carnosine found in meat has some protective effects against AGE formation.

For lower heat

any of the high heat oils
olive oil
macadamia nut oil
fish oil

To use on special occasion and at low heat (or better yet NO heat)
walnut oil
sesame oil
flax seed oil

Please store all your oil in dark bottles (glass is best) in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent oxidation and rancidity.

As a reminder from Part I and a quick reference we especially want to AVOID all industrial seed oils and oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. These include
safflower
sunflower
canola
rapeseed
cottonseed
vegetable
soy

*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.

Yoga Pose of the Day: Reclined Twist

Reclined Twist to Cleanse, Align and Relax

Whether you just had a weekend warriors three day weekend or you just had a long weekend of sitting driving and stressing followed by a week of more of the same, this pose can really help you loosen up, relax and cleanse the digestive system.

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To begin lay flat on your back legs down arms by your sides. Draw your right knee into your chest, open your arms into a T with both shoulders down and then bring the right knee across the body and onto the floor on the left side of the body. From here look over the right shoulder keeping both shoulders against the floor. 

If your knee cannot touch the floor feel free to put a bolster or block under the knee for support so that you can keep your shoulders in contact with the floor.

For more of a stretch extend the right leg as shown below.

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If you are still having trouble relaxing into this pose you can instead from the starting position draw both knees into the chest and drop both of them to the left side as show below.

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Taking the proper variation for the way your body feel today and using bolsters and blocks where necessary will make this a relaxing and enjoyable pose for most anyone.

 

 

Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Paleo, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Grain/Gluten-Free

The best way to get rid of the left over cranberries in your freezer!

Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce Recipe

1 pound Cranberries (washed and sorted)
1 cup orange juice
1-3 tbs high quality maple syrup or honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
optional – zest of 1/2 an orange – this adds a nice sweetness as would some finely chopped apples

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image from savorysweetlife.com

 

Combine in sauce pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer until berries begin to burst (about 25 minutes)

Let cool in a dish and pop in the fridge, it will thicken as it cools.

 

Cooking Oils Part 1

Vegetable oils shown to increase coronary heart disease… Here is a breakdown of why.

image take from recipe-finder.com

image take from
recipe-finder.com

Without writing an entire tome on this masive topic here is a brief summary of what you should know regarding vegetable oils and your health.

According to a study done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, certain vegetable oils including corn, sunflower and safflower oils, can increase your likelihood of death from coronary artery disease.

Many of our vegetable oils on the market today (including those listed above) are high in omega-6 fatty acids (the bad kind) that are easily oxidized during the cooking process and in the body. These oxidized fats deplete our bodies of antioxidants, cause oxidative stress in the body and lead to inflammation. It is recommended that we try to consume omega-6 fatty acids in a one-to-one ratio with omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind), but the current American diet is heavily skewed towards omega-6 – some estimates say the average is around 20:1 because of our heavy reliance on industrial seed oils (another name for all of the varieties of vegitable oils listed on this page).

For this reason Prevention Health suggests that we consume canola and soybean oils which are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. However, the majority of canola and soybean oils are GMO, and commercially derived using hexane gas (which I might add is limited by the EPA because of its potential carcinogenic properties).

According to an article by Slate, “The FDA does not currently impose a ceiling on hexane residue in soy foods” they also state that researchers have found hexane residue in soy products. If there is in fact hexane residue in hexane extracted soy bean oil it is reasonable to assume that there is also hexane residue in hexane derived canola oils.

So what oils should I be using and for what purposes?

For more on that stay tuned for part 2 of Cooking Oils

 

Paleo walnut and sour cherry Brownies

I’d skip the stevia but this recipe looks delicious!Those cherries sound like the perfect winter time pick me up.

Do keep in mind that even though it doesn’t have refined sugar this recipe still has a pretty good dose of fruit filled with natural fructose so treat it like what it is… A treat!

turningtroglodyte

A variation on normal Paleo chocolate Brownies, just to add interest. They are very gooey, not too sweet, very chocolatey and moreish. No honey or syrup, just a tiny bit of Stevia and some dates/prunes for sweetness. The sour cherries and walnuts add lovely texture.

paleo recipe crossfit

You will need:-

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 4 ounces baking chocolate (as close to 100% cacao as you can get/like)
  • 1/2 cup soft dates, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup soft prunes
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon stevia (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • a handful of dried sour cherries

paleo
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Combine the almonds, salt and bicarb in your mixer. Blitz in the dates and prunes until they are like coarse sand. Add the 3 eggs and the stevia.

In the meantime, melt your chocolate over a bain-marie, and when almost melted add the…

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